Permanent Daylight Saving Time means dark winter mornings from November to March
CHICAGO - The U.S. Senate unanimously passed the Sunshine Act on Tuesday, which would make Daylight Saving Time permanent. This means Americans would never have to "spring forward" or "fall back" starting in 2023.
That may sound convenient at first, but there is a downside, said Dr. David Perau, author of Seize the Daylight: The Curious and Contentious Story of Daylight Saving Time.
"I think the current system is about the best we could do," Prerau said. "It's a great compromise."
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Prerau said while it may be a temporary pain to "spring forward" and "fall back" each year, if we make Daylight Saving Time permanent, winter mornings will be painful, especially between November and March, when many Americans will be waking up, commuting to work, and taking our children to school in the dark.
"People think about that one hour loss in March, but they don't think about from November to March: 120 days of dark, cold winter mornings," said Prerau.
He also points out that Congress passed similar legislation in 1974, but permanent Daylight Saving proved so unpopular, it was repealed after just a year.
"Nobody liked it. Nobody liked to send their kid to school in the dark, getting up to work in the pitch dark," said Prerau.
But Tuesday's vote may signal Americans have changed over the decades.
"It's always been troubling to me that we change our clocks twice a year," said State Rep. Bob Morgan (D-Deerfield).
Morgan is among a bi-partisan group of state lawmakers who have been pushing for this. He said eliminating clock changes will benefit the mental and physical well-being of seniors, parents and children — and will be good for businesses as well.
"When you shut down your stores at 5 o'clock and it's still dark out, that is lost revenue," Morgan said.
While the Sunshine Act passed the Senate, it still needs approval from the House before it can land on President Joe Biden's desk. The White House has not yet specified whether Biden supports it.