REPS. BART ROWLAND, BRANDON REED PRE-FILE LEGISLATION MAKING DAYLIGHT SAVING TIME PERMANENT
Edmonson Voice Staff Report:
“Springing Forward” and “Falling Backward” could be one step closer to history under legislation pre-filed today by Representative Bart Rowland of Tompkinsville and Representative Brandon Reed of Hodgenville. The measure, BR 181, would make Daylight Saving Time (DST) permanent throughout the commonwealth, but only if Congress first passes a federal law allowing states to observe daylight saving time year-round.
By putting an end to the practice of changing clocks every March and November and giving Kentuckians more evening daylight hours during winter months, Rowland and other supporters believe that Kentuckians will reap immediate benefits.
“Studies show that adding more light at the end of the day improves everything from traffic safety to crime and the use of electricity. I think it’s time for Kentucky to join the conversation on whether or not we’re willing to do away with the antiquated practice of changing clocks,” Rowland said.
According to research from the Brookings Institute, there is a 19 percent drop in the probability of any robbery occurring in the weeks after DST begins, and a 27 percent decrease in the robbery rate during sunset hours. In addition to the proven public safety benefits, medical research also shows an increased risk of heart attacks following time changes. Data collected over three years from hospitals in Michigan found that on the Monday immediately after Daylight Saving Time began, there was an average of 25 percent more heart attack patients.
The measure is cosponsored by Representative Brandon Reed of Hodgenville, who resides in and represents two counties in the Eastern Time Zone. Most of Rowland’s district falls in the Central Time Zone
“After discussing this issue at length with my constituents and seeing our neighbor to the south pass this legislation, I am convinced that it’s time for Kentucky to strongly make our voice heard,” Reed said. “Kentucky should be the next state to lead on this issue and pass this legislation, which will also pressure Congress to act.”
If BR 181 is approved during the 2020 General Assembly, Kentucky will join more than a dozen other states in the movement to make DST permanent. While Tennessee recently enacted a bill to do so, Florida was the first state in the nation to vote to make Daylight Saving Time permanent in 2018, with their action being followed by passage of similar measures in states including Tennessee, Oregon, and Washington. U.S. Senator Marco Rubio has introduced bipartisan legislation on the federal level making DST permanent throughout the nation, and President Trump has endorsed the idea.
“With support from President Trump, red and blue states across America and many of my constituents, the time has come to make Daylight Saving Time permanent,” Rowland added. “My constituents overwhelmingly support this proposal, and passing it will show the federal government exactly where Kentuckians stand on this issue.”
BR 181 will be considered by the General Assembly during the 2020 legislative session. Specific details of the measure can be viewed here.
UPDATE 7/02/19: An earlier version of this article had the headline as "KY Lawmakers Look To Eliminate Daylight Savings Time," which some perceived as inaccurate. While Daylight Saving Time is the process of advancing clocks forward, and the proposed bill would eliminate the advancing of clocks-- which is why we ran the above headline, Daylight Saving Time would be actually be year-round. We have adjusted the headline and graphic to represent the latter. We apologize for any confusion.