Daylight Saving Time Starts Tonight, Congress Considers Permanent Change

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Last month, two proposals were submitted in Congress with the intention of making daylight saving time, which will cost Americans an hour of sleep on Sunday, a permanent change for the entire nation or for states that choose to participate.

This Sunday at 2 a.m., the clocks will advance one hour as we switch from regular time, which starts in November, to daylight saving time, which is characterised by later sunsets.

On March 1, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) presented a Senate bill that would end the November time shift and make daylight saving time nationwide permanent.

Similar legislation, known as the Sunshine Protection Act, was filed by Rubio in 2021; it was successful in the Senate last March but failed in the House in December.

Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Ala.) sponsored a bill in the House on March 8 that would waive the federal consent that the Uniform Time Act demands in order for states to permanently implement DST.

Experts have long linked the beginning of Daylight Saving Time to a variety of health issues, such as disruptions of circadian rhythm, increased risk for obesity, diabetes, and high blood pressure, as well as an increase in workplace accidents, heart attacks, and even fatal car accidents.

What is Daylight Saving?

In order to maximise daylight during working hours and reduce the cost of energy used to light the night, daylight savings time was implemented in the United States during World War I. Before Congress standardised the time change in 1966, states and local governments were free to implement their own time changes whenever they pleased, making it challenging for the transportation sector to plan interstate travel. States that want permanent DST claim that the two-yearly time changes are now inconvenient and unnecessary for fuel savings.

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