No more switching?: Lawmakers introduce bill to make Daylight Saving Time permanent in Ohio

Senate Bill 119, also known as the Ohio Sunshine Protection Act, was put forth by Republican Senators Kristina Roegner and Bob Peterson Tuesday. The bill, which would stop Ohioans from springing forward and falling back on their clocks every year, was referred to committee on Thursday.

Two states in the U.S. — Hawaii and Arizona — already do not observe DST due to opting out of the Uniform Time Act of 1966. Several other states have introduced legislation in recent years to also opt out of the time change, with Florida being the only state to establish “permanent DST,” effectively eliminating the switch.

Even if Ohio lawmakers approve it, the measure also needs approval from the U.S. Congress due to provisions in the Uniform Time Act of 1966. Congress failed to do so after Florida passed a similar measure last year.

But it hasn’t stopped other states like California, Massachusetts, New Hampshire — and now Ohio — from introducing similar bills in their respective statehouses.

Whether or not Daylight Saving Time is necessary in the modern era has been the source of much debate over the years.

Proponents of DST have said there are several benefits to the practice, including longer daylight hours boosting the economy due to more people shopping during longer daylight hours, less use of artificial light and a reduction in robberies after springing forward.

Others have said negative side-effects of DST outweigh the benefits. Scientific studies have suggested there are a number of effects people experience due to DST, including changes to mood and diet, as well as an increase in auto accidents due to lack of sleep the morning after the time change.

If Ohio’s version makes it past Gov. Mike DeWine’s desk — and Congress — it would go into effect Jan. 1.

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