Daylight saving time debate lingers in Congress

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The daylight saving debate comes up every year at this time when you turn back clocks, but should the time change be permanent?

Tennessee lawmakers, U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander and just about anyone you might ask think it should.

“Don’t like to go to work in the morning when its dark and come home when it’s dark,” said Nashville visitor Steven Stephan.

Another person along a busy downtown Nashville street cited safety concerns.

“There’s so much pedestrian traffic here and it’s getting darker earlier,” added Mike Hancock outside the popular Country Music Hall of Fame building.

Rep. Rick Tillis was the House sponsor of the bill passed in 2019 that would put Tennessee on daylight saving time permanently if Congress authorized states to do it.

He cited people’s health.

“When we spring forward, there is actually an increase in cardiac events,” said Tillis last year at this time. “That’s from the American Heart Association. Autistic children, when they deviate from their regular schedule it creates a lot of problems for the parents and the children.”

Animal behavior, like a cow’s eating habits, is also a reason, according to Tillis.

“Cows get used to eating at four in the morning, they don’t want to eat at five in the morning when you spring forward, they want to eat at four,” he added.

There seems to be general agreement across the country that time change twice a year is disruptive.

Sen. Alexander agrees.

His office says he’s co-sponsoring the Senate bill, making daylight saving the new standard time.

It’s not clear if there will be action soon.

Congress may not have the time to change the time during an election year and a lingering pandemic.

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