Editorial Roundup: Make this the last ever clock change we have

Published 8:50 pm Thursday, November 9, 2023

Many people are still adjusting to the change of shifting clocks back one hour on Sunday morning and many are grieving over the loss of an hour of daylight in the evening.

The practice of changing clocks twice a year has long been controversial and a large majority of states have passed legislation asking Congress to do away with it.
Unfortunately, progress on changing it has stalled in Congress.

Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Florida, reintroduced the Sunshine Protection Act, a law that would make Daylight Saving Time permanent year round.

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Proposed legislation was first introduced in 2018 and the bill saw the most movement in 2022, when the Senate passed the bill unanimously. But now legislation remains in limbo. The bill didn’t come up for a vote in the House last year and this year’s version of the bill has not even passed the Senate committee.

We’ve been told going off Daylight Saving Time in the fall was something instigated by farmers who, years ago, didn’t want to go out to a cold, dark barn in the early morning to milk their cows and tend to livestock, but rather wanted an “earlier” sunrise.

In fact farmers hated the idea of disrupting their schedules when it was first started in 1918. They didn’t know how they’d tell their cows that their normal milking schedule had to change by an hour twice a year.

There is also the mantra that making it lighter earlier in the morning is safer for school children going to school. But kids are out and about in the early evening, too, when it’s now darker earlier. And in those places where the community truly thought it was a danger to kids, they could move their school start times by an hour.

But the idea of clock changing got its real boost in the 1970s as a way to save energy. It was likely true at one time, but most studies show it’s not anymore.

Society has changed and isn’t really a 9 to 5 society anymore. Factories run at all times. At home, electricity demand is no longer based on sunrises and sunsets thanks to the big increase in things like internet use.

Americans have long wanted to end the clock changing. At least six out of 10 Americans would prefer to do away with the twice-a-year change.

Now, Congress just needs to get its act together and give people what they want.

— Mankato Free Press

About Editorial Roundup

Editorials from newspapers around the state of Minnesota.

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