Tennessee bill aimed at keeping Daylight Saving Time year-round to be reintroduced

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NASHVILLE, Tenn-

Tired of the dark mornings? Do you often forget to “spring forward” and give up an hour of sleep or “fall back” and gain an hour of sleep?

Well there’s a possibility that could change if a couple of Tennessee lawmakers get their way. A Tennessee bill aimed at keeping Daylight Saving Time year-round will be reintroduced in the Legislature.

The bill is spearheaded again by Sen. Steve Dickerson (R-Nashville) and Rep. Rick Tillis (R-Lewisburg). Both lawmakers proposed a similar bill last year that was deferred to a summer study.

If passed, the bill would have the Volunteer State keep Daylight Saving Time year-round. The new legislation, which has not yet been filed, will have a few changes and worded differently than last year’s bill, that aims to “spring forward” permanently by May 2019. Rep. Tillis did a Facebook poll for the bill last year and the idea had an 82 percent approval rating from 10,000 voters.

“Public support is huge,” Tillis said. “I’ve had more people ask me about that bill than any other issue in the state”

According to WFTV.com, last year Gov. Rick Scott signed a bill, the “Sunshine Protection Act” that would give Florida Daylight Saving Time year round. It won’t take effect unless Congress also changes federal law.

“It is not the top issue on the agenda in Washington, but it matters to a lot of people,” Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla

Rubio said federal approval of the Florida law would help the state’s agricultural economy, reduce traffic crashes, and boost health and fitness activities because there would be more sunlight and better visibility later in the day.

If that happens, Florida would join Hawaii and most of Arizona. Both are exempt from the Uniform Time Act of 1966.

Floridians would no longer have to turn the clock back one hour in the fall. It would mean darker mornings and brighter evenings between November and March.

The idea of DST has only been a part of the country’s lexicon for about 50 years. Congress passed the Uniform Time Act in 1966. It was designed to save the country energy and, therefore, money. Congress tweaked it again in 2007, when daylight saving time was extended by three weeks in the spring and one week in the fall.

Some believe that the concept of Daylight Savings time is to many dated and no longer necessary.

For example, it’s dangerous.

One study showed that the rate of fatal car crashes goes up right after Daylight Saving Time goes into effect, as sleep-deprived drivers take to the streets. The danger lasts for six days, causing more than 300 deaths over a 10-year period, and there’s no offsetting drop in fatal wrecks in the fall when folks get a bit more rest.

Likewise, U.S. Department of Labor and Mine Safety and Health Administration data show that workplace injuries increase 5.7 percent on the first Monday of Daylight Saving, and nearly 68 percent more workdays are lost to those injuries.

DST is unhealthy in other ways, too.

Mondays are always the worst day for heart attacks, as the stress of getting up early and starting a new work week hits. But research finds that the risk of heart attack increases 25 percent on the Monday after the start of DST.

Also, Daylight Saving Time is expensive. When it was started during World War I, it was supposed to save energy. Nowadays, it’s more likely to do the opposite.

Don’t hold your breath, the bill, along with the other 1500 bills that are often filed in the legislature have a tough road ahead and even if Tennessee approves it, our Congress will still have to act and who no win that will be.

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