We are only a few days away from the often dreaded act of switching clocks to daylight saving time, and a Georgian legislature wants to make the change permanent.
Woodstock State Representative Wes Cantrell is the sponsor of House Bill 44. The bill aims to observe Georgia daylight saving time year round and essentially eliminate the forward forward and backward time changes.
The law was passed by 112-48 votes on Friday and read in the Senate on Monday.
“My calculation would take us to daylight saving time as it would be the easiest of the two adjustments as you only switch four months of the year,” Cantrell said. “If we went to standard time, we would switch eight of the months.”
Summer time often means losing an hour of sleep but enjoying longer days of sunlight. Cantrell said the practice of changing clocks has affected people’s lives.
“At the end of the day, 90% of people hate time changes,” he said.
Jennifer Campbell prefers standard time. The mother of nine children runs the Good Shephard Family Farm in Henry County with her husband. The family works from sunrise to sunset. You look forward to autumn when summer time ends.
“In winter we go in at least at a decent hour, eat, have family time and that’s nice,” she said.
Dr. Nancy Collop, director of the Emory Sleep Center, said the abrupt change in time during daylight saving time affects people’s internal clocks. The shift is known to lead to more car accidents, heart attacks and increased hospital stays.
“In general, most sleep experts would suggest sticking to just one or the other would be better than these relatively dramatic one-hour changes we go through,” said Collop.
The idea of sticking to daylight saving time or standard time can support Campbell.
“I don’t like to go back and forth,” she said. “It would be nice to have just once.”
Fifteen states have already passed laws to extend daylight saving time all year round. However, the laws cannot come into effect until the legislature acts in the US Congress. That’s because federal law currently prohibits states from observing daylight saving time all year round.
The same would be true in Georgia if House Bill 44 were passed. It faces an additional hurdle that there is a competing Senate bill to make the standard time permanent until Congress makes the change.
Daylight saving time begins on Sunday, March 14th at 2:00 AM
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