Mitchell proposes year-round daylight saving time

Springfield – With clocks springing forward this week, a local lawmaker wants to make daylight saving time the year-round standard for Illinois.

State Representative Bill Mitchell (R-Forsyth) has introduced House Bill 1562, which provides that daylight saving time shall be the year-round standard time of the entire state. Mitchell said the idea came to him from an editorial published last year by the Decatur Herald & Review decrying the time change and the physical adjustments people must make when they gain or lose an hour.

“The time change has a negative impact on people and messes with their circadian rhythms,” Mitchell said. “There are several studies that demonstrate the health benefits and improved economic activity associated with daylight saving time. With more daylight in the evening hours, people will go out and shop. In terms of crime, there’s less crime because there are more daylight hours in the evening.”

According to research, in the days following the change to daylight saving time, rates of heart attacks, traffic accidents and workplace injuries increase slightly – likely the effect of people’s bodies being forced to adjust to the missing hour of sleep. Workplace productivity, meanwhile, tends to decrease. A 2007 study showed that people’s circadian rhythms never really adjust to the daylight saving shift.

Representative Mitchell said that some of his constituents have asked him to get rid of the time change. Their concerns led to an informal poll on the subject, which found that most people would like to have an extra hour of sunlight in the fall and winter months.

“I want to be clear that my legislation does not get rid of daylight saving time,” Mitchell added. “It simply makes daylight saving time the standard year-round. No more springing forward or setting our clocks back in the fall.”

HB 1562 has been assigned to the House Executive Committee.

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