JEFFERSON CITY — A general disdain for “falling back” has Missouri lawmakers pushing to establish permanent daylight saving time.
Missouri is one of 28 states considering such legislation. Fifteen other states have enacted legislation or passed resolutions to allow for year-round daylight saving time. If passed, House Bill 848 — which was brought to the House floor Wednesday — would add Missouri to that list.
The bill is also dependent on bordering states. When three states bordering Missouri pass similar legislation, these states will enter the “Daylight Saving as New Standard Time Pact.”
At that point, each state in the pact would spring forward into daylight saving time for the last time, thereby eliminating any time changes moving forward. According to the bill text, “the time formerly known as daylight saving time shall become standard time.”
But even if Missouri and its counterparts pass this legislation, it’s up to Congress to finalize it. According to CNN, congressional approval is required in order to make daylight saving permanent in all states, regardless of interstate agreements.
Currently, annual daylight saving time begins at 2 a.m. on the second Sunday of March and ends at 2 a.m. on the first Sunday of November. All U.S. states observe the time change, with the exception of Hawaii and Arizona.
Daylight saving time is currently observed for 238 days, or about 65% of the year. Legislators said the annual time change disrupts sleep cycles, making it difficult to adjust.
Rep. Rasheen Aldridge, D-St. Louis, expressed his concern for Missouri students if the change was made.
“I’m just thinking (of) our kids that catch the bus,” Aldridge said. “So, in the winter time, if we do this, it will be dark outside in the morning.”
Rep. Chris Sander, R-Lone Jack, the bill’s sponsor, emphasized that although it will be darker during winter mornings, there will be the same amount of daylight each day. Therefore, there will be more light in the evenings.
Despite some legislators’ concerns, the bill won initial approval Wednesday afternoon. The legislation would still have to be approved by the Senate before moving to the governor’s desk.
There are efforts in Congress to make the change nationwide. In March, U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Florida, reintroduced the Sunshine Protection Act, which would establish permanent daylight saving time across the country.
According to a news release from Rubio’s office, switching to permanent daylight saving time may limit car crashes, reduce the risk for health issues such as cardiac arrest and seasonal depression, boost economic growth and more.