It’s time to spring forward.
This weekend brings the annual March ritual of moving clocks forward one hour.
It’s Daylight Saving Time when people gain an extra hour of daylight each afternoon by giving up an extra hour of sleep.
Mississippians will make the change at 2 a.m. on Sunday, and some federal lawmakers would like to see that be the last time the task has to be completed.
Joining the push to make Daylight Saving Time permanent across the country is Mississippi’s U.S. Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith. She is supporting House Bill 69, known as the Sunshine Protection Act of 2021.
Daylight Saving Time begins Sunday and lasts until Sunday, Nov. 7. According to Hyde-Smith, the act would simply negate the need for Americans to change their clocks twice a year making the time between March and November the permanent time all year.
“The public safety improvements, economic benefits and the wellbeing of the American people are all excellent and credible reasons to embrace year-long Daylight Saving Time,” Hyde-Smith said. “I know the agricultural sector in Mississippi and across the nation desires this change. I believe the Sunshine Protection Act would give us an immediate and long-term boost after a terrible pandemic year and a very dark winter.”
It was 1918, during World War I, when Daylight Saving Time was first implemented as a way to conserve fuel. After World War I, Congress ended it at the federal level, but continued to allow states to observe it. A year-round daylight saving time was also added during World War II.
A federal law was passed in 1966 created the Uniform Time Act due to the random way states had been observing daylight saving time. The law forced states to either change clocks to daylight saving time at a certain time and day twice each year or remain on the year-round time.
There are currently 15 states with year-round time including Arkansas, Alabama, California, Delaware, Georgia, Idaho, Louisiana, Maine, Ohio, Oregon, South Carolina, Tennessee, Utah, Washington and Wyoming.
The Department of Transportation is in essence in charge of time in the U.S. They have oversight of each state’s time and all time zones.
According to the DOT website, year-round time saves energy, saves lives by preventing traffic accidents, reduces crime, benefits the economy, helps farmers, reduces depression and increases physical fitness.
Hyde-Smith said the legislation, if enacted, would apply to those states who currently participate in Daylight Saving Time like Mississippi. The act would force Mississippi into year-round time using the spring Daylight Saving Time.
The bill is young having been introduced in January and referred to the House Committee on Energy and Commerce. If the committee advances the bill, it will move to the House floor for a vote before making it to the Senate. If both chambers support the act and there are no changes, it would move to President Joe Biden to sign into law or veto.
A similar bill was introduced last year in the Senate by Florida Republican U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio. It never made it to the full Senate for a vote and died with little support in the Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee.