A proposed House Concurrent Resolution will urge the U.S. Congress to extend daylight saving time nationwide, according to legislation. The House Federal and State Affairs committee initially examined the legislation in a hearing Feb. 11.
The resolution would seek to end the annual time change in the spring and implement daylight saving time year-round. The resolution states the benefits of this change are more daylight, more playtime outside for children, crime reduction and more economic opportunity.
Rep. Shannon Francis, a Republican from Liberal, became intrigued by this topic after seeing a Facebook post from a fellow member of the Legislature. Francis then made his own Facebook poll for his constituents, where the results led him to create this resolution.
“I had 108 responses on my survey, and 60% of those responses wanted daylight saving time year-round, and another 14% wanted standard time year-round,” Francis said. “Another 20% of my constituents said they don’t care either way; they just want to stop changing the clocks.”
This debate is not just happening in Kansas. Scott Yates, founder of #LockTheClock, said 15 other states have adopted resolutions in support of year-round daylight saving time. Yates said safety for children and pollution is a big factor behind the support of year-round daylight saving.
“For children coming home from school, having more daylight at those times would drastically reduce accidents involving children,” Yates said. “Also, with afternoon rush hour pollution happening while there is still sun, it burns off most of the dangerous ozone.”
Although no one opposed ending the switch, support for this resolution wasn’t unanimous. Jay Pea, founder of Save Standard Time, wants to amend the resolution to make standard time the official time. Pea warned that year-round daylight saving time was adopted in the United States during both World Wars. The policy was repealed as soon as the wars ended.
Pea also said that adopting daylight saving time during the winter months would lead to a 9 a.m. sunrise. For more than a third of the year, people would be starting school and work in darkness. Pea said adopting permanent daylight saving time would be very dangerous.
“Permanent daylight saving time reduces sleep, it reduces immunity, it increases sickness and it increases accidents,” Pea said. “It is not just the clock change that harms. Clocks are not arbitrary. When we do things matters.”
The resolution was pushed to be discussed in depth at a later date.