Neb legislators. advance bill for daylight saving time all year round

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LINCOLN, Neb. (Nebraska Examiner) — Economic activity and tax revenue would increase and deaths would decrease if Nebraska switched to daylight saving time year-round, a state senator said Monday.

State Sen. Tom Briese of Albion introduced a bill that, under certain conditions, would make daylight saving time year-round in the state.

Bill 283 passed in the first round by a 40-3 vote. The debate came a day after Nebraskanians switched to daylight saving time by adjusting their clocks one hour ahead.

Nebraska would only switch to daylight saving time year-round if authorized by the federal government and if three neighboring states also approved the switch.

Currently, the federal government allows states to either allow permanent standard time (as Arizona does) or follow a back-and-forth system. A subcommittee of the US House Energy and Commerce Committee held a hearing last week on the proposal to switch to daylight saving time year-round.

Several states pass bills

At least 19 states have passed bills requiring year-round daylight saving time. Briese, who introduced LB 283 with 22 co-sponsors, said 28 more states are considering bills like his this year.

None of Nebraska’s neighbors approved of the change, though the Iowa home recently passed a bill to switch to daylight saving time year-round, pending federal action.

Currently, Nebraska operates on daylight saving time from the second Sunday in March through the first Sunday in November, operating on standard time through late fall and winter.

Briese said he hears almost everyone complaining about the current “spring forward, spring back” routine. It’s a difficult adjustment for many, including those on a medication schedule, he said.

Medical issues

The senator also told his colleagues that studies have shown that heart attacks and strokes increase by about 24% to 25% following a time change.

“This practice of changing our clocks twice a year actually hurts and kills people,” Briese said.

He said providing an extra hour of sunlight after 5 p.m. during the winter months would increase consumer spending and productivity.

The JPMorgan Chase Institute concluded in a 2016 study that the start of DST in the Los Angeles area triggered an increase in daily credit card spending of 0.9%. In contrast, the end of daylight saving time caused consumer spending to fall 3.5%.

So, Briese said, year-round daylight saving time would be a “valuable tool” for growing the economy.

bus in the dark

Bayard Senator Steve Erdman opposed the move to permanent daylight saving time, saying it would mean more schoolchildren walking and going to school in the dark.

He said he liked the sun to be at its highest point at noon and argued that if people didn’t want to adjust their clocks twice a year, going to standard time year-round was the way to go.

“If it’s good enough for God, it’s good enough for me,” Erdman said.

He added that if people want to play golf, they should just adjust their working hours so they can leave an hour earlier.

The federal government should pass legislation allowing states to choose daylight saving time year-round, Briese said. But, he added, if enough states passed bills like LB 283, it would likely happen.

Nebraska Examiner is part of States Newsroom, a grant-supported network of news outlets and a coalition of donors as a 501c(3) public charity. Nebraska Examiner maintains editorial independence. Contact editor Cate Folsom with questions: [email protected] Follow Nebraska Examiner on Facebook and Twitter.

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