A bill to end the bi-annual clock change
MARYLAND – House Bill 126 is a bill that’s focused on putting an end to the bi-annual clock change. After the bill was halted by the Senate last year, bill sponsor Delegate Brian Crosby says he’s confident he’ll get it through this year.
Del. Crosby says there are several reasons behind the bill, one of the many, is the effect it could have on businesses. “Small businesses support permanent Daylight Saving time over standard time because if it’s lighter out later, people will shop or continue to shop longer,” says Del. Crosby.
However, he says it doesn’t just support small businesses, it has major health benefits like helping our circadian rhythms or internal time clock. A major point he made was the idea changing the time would help lower the crime rate. “There is a lot of data that supports that crime is lower when it’s lighter out later,” says Del. Crosby.
However, some say this idea may be a bit of a stretch, and crime isn’t contingent on a time. “If somebody is going to commit a crime, they’re not going to look at their watches and so oh my gosh it’s five minutes of nine, I need to be home in bed, it doesn’t work that way,” says Marylander and Eastern Shore farmer, Virgil Shockley.
Meanwhile, Speaker Pro Tem Delegate Sheree Sample-Hughes tells 47 ABC, there are other concerns that she can’t ignore. “Some of our kids in the county they are standing at school bus stops at as early as 5:55 am, and in the dark, and that’s a concern,” says Del. Sample-Hughes.
It’s not just other lawmakers, but farmers who also share a concern with the bill. Shockley shares the history of daylight savings, and why it doesn’t matter much to him now. “Supposedly it gave us an extra hour but their logic has never been sound on that because when the sun comes up, we get up when the sun sets, we quit. It doesn’t matter what the clock says,” he says. Shockley adds, “It doesn’t have any effect on us really, none at all because we don’t pay any attention to the clocks.”
Another major concern Shockley brings up is working with other states and even countries outside of our region. “And if you do business in North Carolina, I guess they’re kind of left out, or even Florida!” exclaims Shockley.
However, if the bill were to pass, Del. Crosby says it would affect other states too, “So we made it contingent upon all the surrounding states enacting the legislation, as well as the federal government amending their code to allow for it.”
Those who question the bill agree, there’s a lot more that should go into a major decision like this. “If you’re going to do it, it needs to be done at the federal level, not at the state level,” says Shockley. Del. Sample-Hughes adds, “Why don’t we wait until the federal government and make it a national change and just move forward.”
Shockley does say there could be benefits to the permanent time change on the electric side since it’ll be lighter longer outside, so people will use less electricity.
House Bill 126 is now pending in the state senate’s ‘Education, health, and Environmental Affairs committee.