Time to make Daylight Savings permanent
Published 3:35 pm Sunday, March 5, 2023
While the nation prepares to change their clocks next weekend, U.S. Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.) this week again threw her support behind the effort to make Daylight Saving Time (DST) permanent across the United States.
Hyde-Smith is an original cosponsor of the Sunshine Protection Act of 2023 (S.582) introduced by Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), a renewed legislative effort to negate the need for Americans to “spring forward” and “fall back” every year. This year, DST begins at 2 a.m., Sunday, March 12.
“Many Mississippians, especially those in agriculture, agree that ending the disruptive practice of re-setting our clocks would bring public safety improvements, economic benefits, and even mental health benefits to our nation,” Hyde-Smith said. “I’m proud to again cosponsor the Sunshine Protection Act in an effort to make permanent Daylight Saving Time a reality.”
“This ritual of changing time twice a year is stupid. Locking the clock has overwhelming bipartisan and popular support. This Congress, I hope that we can finally get this done,” Rubio said.
Technically, S.582 would repeal the current eight-month “temporary” DST period mandated in the Uniform Time Act of 1966. Its enactment would allow 21 states — including Mississippi, Louisiana, Arkansas, Tennessee, and Alabama — to implement laws and resolutions for year-round DST.
The bill would not: alter or change time zones, change the number of hours of sunlight, or mandate the adoption of DST by states that do not currently observe DST (American Samoa, most of Arizona, Guam, Hawaii, Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands).
In March 2022, the Senate unanimously passed the Sunshine Protection Act of 2021 and sent it to the House of Representatives. However, former Speaker Nancy Pelosi never brought the legislation up for a vote, despite broad support among lawmakers and the American people.
The United States enacted Daylight Savings Time (DST) following Germany’s 1916 effort to conserve fuel during World War I, and its period of observance has since been lengthened. Originally mandated for six months, Congress in 2005 extended DST to begin the second Sunday in March and end the first Sunday in November. As a result, the United States now enjoys eight months of DST, and only four months of Standard Time (November-March). The United States has also gone through periods of year-round DST, including 1942-1945 and 1974-1975.