Illinois legislators have introduced bills in both the state Senate and House of Representatives seeking to put the kibosh on daylight saving time as more communities question whether the switch no longer fits today’s society.
State Rep. Allen Skillicorn, R-Crystal Lake, and state Sen. John J. Cullerton, D-Chicago, in May and January, respectively, introduced separate bills to eliminate the annual setting of clocks forward one hour to daylight saving time in spring – making daylight saving time permanent in Illinois.
Skillicorn’s bill, introduced May 7 and immediately assigned to the House Rules Committee, states that at 2 a.m. on the second Sunday of March 2020, Illinois residents must set their clocks one hour forward as usual, but then that time would become permanent. It eliminates the annual autumn time change of “falling back” one hour to standard time.
State Sen. Andy Manar, D-Bunker Hill, became chief sponsor of the Senate bill in May, co-sponsored by Sens. Dan McConchie, R-Lake Zurich; Jason Plummer, R-Vandalia; Cristina Castro, D-Elgin; and Steve McClure, R-Jacksonville.
Skillicorn’s bill hasn’t passed out of the House Rules Committee. The Senate bill is scheduled for a third reading Tuesday.
In a news release Thursday, Skillicorn said he believes there will be a renewed interest in making daylight saving time permanent in Illinois, “given the health concerns being raised.”
“Sleep is an important part of our overall health, and there seems to be growing evidence that moving our clocks back in the fall and forward in the spring disrupts our sleep patterns,” he said. “Additionally, losing daylight in the afternoon can have adverse effects on mental health.
“There is no question that changing our clocks twice per year messes with our daily routines, and just when we get used to the time change, it is time to change our clocks again.”
The Uniform Time Act of 1966 allows states to opt out of observing daylight saving time. Arizona except for the Navajo Nation, Hawaii, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands are among those that don’t reset their clocks each year.
“If we can’t get this done during the veto session, we should move quickly to get it passed into law next spring,” Skillicorn said.