Lankford, Inhofe among Senators introducing bill that would make daylight saving time permanent across U.S.

Published: Mar. 11, 2021 at 10:28 PM CST
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(KXII) -Oklahoma Senators James Lankford and Jim Inhofe are among a bipartisan group of U.S. lawmakers introducing a bill making daylight saving time permanent across the country.

The bill would get rid of the need to change our clocks twice a year but could have some other benefits as well.

Dr. Stephanie Waitt is a licensed professional counselor she said more sunlight can actually curb the winter blues.

“Coming off the year that we had, and then as Texomans coming off the winter storm that we had, I’m seeing a lot of people who are really anxious, depressed and stressed out,” Waitt said.

It’s called seasonal effective disorder and it’s a form of depression brought on by the lack of sunlight during the winter months.

“Even if you don’t meet criteria for diagnosis seasonal effective disorder you can still feel sad,” Waitt said. “Low motivation, it’s harder to get up and want to do things, some of that joy, that spark is gone.”

So Oklahoma Sen. James Lankford and Sen. Jim Inhofe joined a bipartisan group to introduce a bill, the Sunshine Protection Act, that aims to literally brighten the day.

“In a year that feels like it has been in complete darkness, we have a solution to allow more sunlight by making Daylight Saving Time permanent,” Lankford said. “I don’t know a parent or a young child that would oppose getting rid of springing forward or falling back. Congress created Daylight Saving decades ago as a wartime effort, now it is well past time to lock the clock and end this experiment.”

Inhofe called it “a simple way to allow extra daylight in the evenings.”

“We could all benefit from locking the clocks and enjoying more hours of sunshine,” Inhofe said. “Ahead of this year’s ‘spring forward,’ I am proud to cosponsor this bill that will encourage recreation, benefit mental health and support the economy.”

For Ben Wible, a farmer in Grayson County, the extra hour of sunlight means he’ll be able to stay out on his field longer. Until around 9 or 10 pm now, and from the crack of dawn to 8 or 9 pm in the summer months.

But his message to lawmakers is pick one and stick with it.

“It’ll be the extended hours of sunlight one way or another whether it’s daylight savings or not but this time changing back and forth is a little bit of an issue but whichever one you would choose, leave it that way continuously,” Wible said.

Fifteen states in the US have passed bills making daylight saving time permanent. To make a permanent daylight saving time for the whole country would require amending the Uniform Time Act of 1966. Making all states change the clocks at a certain day or time, or stick with standard time all year.

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