The Potluck

Legislators try to make it Daylight Saving Time year-round, again

By: - February 10, 2020 4:03 pm

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Wouldn’t it be nice if it didn’t get dark at 4 p.m. in the winter?

That could be a reality, if the Minnesota Legislature votes to extend Daylight Saving Time for the entire year (and the federal government approves.) So, no more springing forward or falling back. It’d be summer time, year-round!

The bill gets a hearing in the House Government Operations committee on Tuesday (the first day of the 2020 legislative session). A version of the bill already cleared the state Senate last year.

The biannual clock-switching is a hold-over from Germany, which instituted the change in 1916 in hopes of conserving energy. There’s scant evidence that changing clocks saves energy, but the policy gained traction in the United States because business owners thought people would spend more time shopping after work if it was still light out.

While consumer spending may rise with Daylight Saving Time, so does depression and crime during the other half of the year. Both are shown to increase when we fall back to standard time, along with car accidents and heart attacks.

Not to mention it led to Minneapolis and St. Paul being an hour apart because the two cities decided to change their clocks on different days. For those two weeks in 1965, it felt like living in Indiana. Glad those days are over.

There’s bipartisan support to make Daylight Saving Time permanent in Minnesota, which feels like a ray of sun in these divided times.

We’d join the ranks of Arizona and Hawaii, which also don’t change their clocks twice a year for no reason.

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Max Nesterak
Max Nesterak

Max Nesterak is the deputy editor of the Reformer and reports on labor and housing. Most recently he was an associate producer for Minnesota Public Radio after a stint at NPR. He also co-founded the Behavioral Scientist and was a Fulbright Scholar to Berlin, Germany.