The US Senate has passed a bill that would make daylight savings time permanent, possibly bringing an end to the seasonal time changes so many dread.
Daylight savings time (DST) has a long and complicated history, first being officially proposed in the late 1800s and gradually gaining traction in the 20th century. The idea behind the practice is to give people, and especially children, more time outdoors in the summer months. In the US, during the George W. Bush administration, the period of the year impacted by DST was extended in an effort to reduce power costs.
Despite the benefits of the practice, bouncing back and forth between time zones twice a year is incredibly unpopular. Sleep patterns are disrupted during the shift, especially the shift to DST, and transportation schedules are often impacted. At the same time, farmers, broadcasters, and other industries are often opposed to DST, as their industries are more dependent on the natural daylight cycle, or standard time.
Despite the controversy surrounding the practice, and the difficulties in ending it, the Sunshine Protection Act easily passed the Senate, according to Reuters.
“I know this is not the most important issue confronting America, but it’s one of those issues where there’s a lot of agreement,” co-sponsor Marc Rubio said. “If we can get this passed, we don’t have to do this stupidity anymore.”
“Pardon the pun, but this is an idea whose time has come,” he added.
It’s unclear if the bill will pass the House or be signed by President Biden. Many who support ending DST would prefer to see the US stay with standard time. Doing so would keep children from going to school in the dark, would preserve industries that rely on standard time, and would feel more natural to many.