Daylight Saving Time

Bill to Make Daylight Saving Time Permanent Gets Mixed Reviews in DC Area

The Sunshine Protection Act needs approval from the House and President Biden

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A bill to make daylight saving time permanent passed the Senate on Tuesday and will soon head to the House floor. While many people are excited about a potential extra hour of sunlight, not everyone is enthused about the change.

The tradition of changing our clocks twice a year can be discombobulating.

Six-year-old Theo Williams couldn't understand why his clock had the wrong time.

"On Sunday, I was so confused when I saw 5:38 on the clock, but it was actually 6:38," he said.

Lawmakers in favor of the Sunshine Protection Act are hoping to end the confusion by making daylight saving time permanent. Some D.C.-area residents are in favor of the bill.

"Springtime, daylight savings time, more light — automatic increased happiness," Percy Brown said.

Mira Agneshwar said she is excited about the extra time to spend outside with loved ones.

"I can go outside with my friends and hang out more with my family outside later in the evening," she said.

But having an extra hour of daylight in the winter would come at a cost; the sun rising an hour later in the morning would mean that many people would have to go to school and work in the dark.

The National Safety Council's Jane Terry said using standard time year-round rather than daylight saving time would be a safer option.

"We have a lot less crashes when the sun is up on a daily basis," she said. "I've got two young children who go to the bus stop each and every morning, and I would love for them to make sure that they've got plenty of light out so that drivers can see them."

If the House approves the measure for permanent daylight saving time, President Joe Biden would still have to give it his signature for it to become law.

The Maryland House of Delegates also passed a bill to have permanent daylight saving time. The Maryland state Senate is now considering it, but the bill would only take effect if the Sunshine Protection Act passes the House and if similar legislation is passed in D.C., Delaware, Pennsylvania, Virginia and West Virginia.

The debate about daylight saving time is not new. In January 1974, the U.S. passed legislation making the time change permanent in order to save energy. But public support quickly dropped and it lasted just 10 months before being repealed.

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