COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — Ohio lawmakers are advancing legislation to observe daylight saving time permanently, as clocks are turning back an hour this weekend.
Concurrent Resolution 7 is moving through the Statehouse to extend daylight saving to the entire year in Ohio and urge the U.S. Congress to pass the “Sunshine Protection Act,” a bill to transition to perpetual daylight saving nationwide. The measure comes as daylight saving is ending at 2 a.m. on Nov. 5, closing the annual period when U.S. clocks “spring forward” an hour in March and “fall back” in November.
Reps. Rodney Creech (R-West Alexandria) and Bob Peterson (R-Sabina), the resolution’s primary sponsors, said the biannual tradition is no longer needed given standard time is observed only for a third of the year. The pair also argue the change endangers drivers, citing a study that found an increase in car crashes occur on the Mondays following the shifts to and from daylight saving.
“Switching to daylight saving time would increase the hours of sunlight in the evenings year-round and could help combat some mental health issues from the darker winter evenings we currently have on standard time,” said Creech.
However, Jay Pea, president of nonprofit Save Standard Time, said daylight saving would delay Ohio’s sunrise past 8 a.m. for more than four months, some as late as 9:06 a.m., and noted Ohio rejected an effort in 1974 to enact daylight saving permanently. Rather, Pea advocates for extending standard time to the entire year.
“Permanent standard time would protect start times for schoolchildren and essential workers by letting most sleep naturally past dawn year-round,” said Pea. “Standard time is the natural clock, set to the sun.”
Creech and Peterson’s resolution notes an effort to enact daylight saving in Ohio would be curtailed until federal law changes. Under the Uniform Time Act of 1966, states can change to standard time but not daylight saving, which requires a change to federal law to transition to perpetual daylight saving.
Passing the Sunshine Protection Act would mean later sunsets in the winter, but also later sunrises. For example, the sun rises around 7:15 a.m. and sets around 4:30 p.m. on the first day of winter in New York. The Sunshine Protection Act would change sunrise to 8:15 a.m. and sunset to 5:30 p.m.
To become law, the act also needs to pass in the U.S. House of Representatives and then be sent to the president’s desk for signing. Though the act previously passed unanimously in the Senate, it wasn’t as well-received in the House.
While many other states have also hinted at permanently observing daylight saving, states like Colorado, Georgia, Oklahoma, and Pennsylvania want to observe standard time. As the rest of the U.S. switches to daylight saving, two states change time zones. Arizona shifts from the Pacific Time Zone to the Mountain Time Zone, and Hawaii from five hours behind Eastern Time to six hours behind.
Six in 10 Americans, 61%, would do away with the nation’s twice-a-year time change while a little over one-third, 35%, want to keep the current practice, according to a Monmouth University poll.
The concept of daylight saving dates to World War I for conserving fuel and power, with Congress setting daylight saving into law with the Uniform Time Act in 1966. In 2006, Congress extended daylight saving from the April to October period to March to November.
View Concurrent Resolution 7 as introduced below.