US Senate passes daylight saving bill

Story posted March 21, 2022 in CommRadio, News by Olivia Ausnehmer

WASHINGTON D.C. — With almost no warning and no debate, the U.S. Senate on Tuesday unanimously approved a bill that would make daylight saving time permanent in the United States.

The bill, named The Sunshine Protection Act, would ensure an extra hour of sunlight at the end of the day all year round. To become official,  the bill still needs to pass in the U.S. House of Representatives and be signed by President Joe Biden.

The bill has a multitude of bipartisan support as not a single senator objected. Several Democrats and Republicans were co-sponsors of the bill.

Currently, daylight saving time begins the second weekend of March and ends the first weekend of November. This bill would end the act of setting clocks back one hour each fall and would take effect in November 2023.

This means, no state would have the option to shift from one kind of time to the other during the course of a year.

The two big factors that led to the approval of the bill were enabling children to play outdoors later and reducing seasonal depression.

In a research study conducted in 2017 from Denmark, scientists analyzed more than 185,000 people from 1995 to 2012. They found that there was an 11 percent increase in depressive episodes during the fall transition to standard time. During the spring, they found that there was no effect of depression.

Steve Calandrillo, a professor at the University of Washington supports the bill.

"Simply put, darkness kills. Darkness in the evening is far deadlier than darkness in the morning," Calandrillo said. The evening rush hour is twice as fatal as the morning for various reasons — far more people are on the road, more alcohol is in drivers' bloodstream, people are hurrying to get home and more children are enjoying the outdoor, unsupervised play."

Before the speech, many senators spoke on the Senate floor in favor of the bill.

Senator Marco Rubio, Republican of Florida said, "Just this past weekend, we all went through that biannual ritual of changing the clock back and forth and the disruption that comes with it. And one has to ask themselves after a while, why do we keep doing it?"

Rubio went on to say, “If we can get this passed, we don't have to keep doing this stupidity anymore,”

Critics of the bill say dark winter mornings will be a problem for people going to work and children heading to school.

It's worth noting that in 1974, the United States went to year-round daylight saving time, and Americans were not a fan as the national experiment lasted about 16 months.

American parents were not a fan of their children walking to school in the morning in pitch black holding flashlights.

Olivia Ausnehmer is a second-year majoring in political science and broadcast journalism. To contact her, email