Lawmaker Wants Permanent Daylight Saving Time in Missouri

5 years 1 week 2 days ago Monday, May 13 2013 May 13, 2013 Monday, May 13, 2013 2:44:00 PM CDT May 13, 2013 in News
By: Brendan Cullerton

JEFFERSON CITY - The tradition of setting the clocks back an hour in the fall could end if a state lawmaker gets his way.

Rep. Delus Johnson, R-St. Joseph, is sponsoring a bill that would put Missouri on permanent Daylight Saving Time.

"I just started wondering why we're changing our clocks twice a year based on an energy policy that's over 100 years old," Johnson said.

Johnson said safety concerns are a major reason he is endorsing the measure.

"Studies have shown that an average of 366 traffic fatalities are caused directly by changing our clocks, and it's that lack of sleep, that hour less of sleep in the spring," Johnson said

Brian Bieske, manager of the Columbia Country Club, said the time change would help businesses that operate outside by allowing people to come out on weekdays after work.

"Having that one extra hour of daylight, most definitely," Bieske said. "People coming off work, late in the evenings. Being able to enjoy one extra hour in the evening is a luxury for us."

But the Missouri Broadcasters Association opposes permanent DST. Its members are worried that it would ruin TV viewing because network programming would use a different time than Missouri stations in the winter.

"People are used to watching your news at ten, so in the winter time, your news is now at eleven," said Mark Gordon, CEO of the Missouri Broadcasters Association. "Your audience will go down. There won't be as many people because they're going to bed."

The bill requires 20 other states to agree to permanent DST before it takes place in Missouri. This could seem daunting, but Johnson said Missouri is not the only state contemplating the switch.

"This has been introduced in about 12 or 14 other states in the last couple of years, with the people that want to extend daylight saving the entire year, but the only downfall with that is that no state wants to be the only state that's not observing the same time as their surrounding states."

Gordon thinks the 20 state provision could actually throw Missouri out of whack with surrounding states.

"The problem is that those 20 states don't have to necessarily be in the Central Time Zone," Gordon said.

Arizona and Hawaii are the only states that do not change time throughout the year. However, they are on the opposite end of the spectrum. Neither observes DST.

The bill has not passed the Missouri Senate, and Johnson said it is doubtful the measure will pass this year.

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