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Hate changing your clocks? NC legislators do too

Your obligatory shot of a clock — with this crucial reminder: The ineluctable march of time will pause just for a second as 2016 ends.
Charles Krupa
Your obligatory shot of a clock — with this crucial reminder: The ineluctable march of time will pause just for a second as 2016 ends.

New legislation in the North Carolina House calls for keeping daylight saving time in place year-round.

If you always feel groggy and sluggish after “springing forward,” Rep. Jason Saine, R-Lincoln, feels your pain. His legislation, House Bill 326, jumps into the national debate over the time change, which he says disrupts everyone’s sleep pattern.

“This weekend as we spring forward and lose an hour, people on Monday will be dragging like me," he said. "If I’m lucky and I can help it, on that first day afterward, I try to make sure I don’t have anything too early scheduled.”

 Rep. Jason Saine
Rep. Jason Saine

While many people favor sticking with the same time all year, there's disagreement over whether to use daylight saving time (where the sun sets later in the evening) or standard time (with an earlier sunrise).

So why did Saine pick the longer evening sunlight of daylight saving time?

“As much as anything, my personal preference. I’m the one putting the bill forward, and that’s what I know my body likes," he said. "I’m probably with a majority of people out there.”

The American Academy of Sleep Medicine supports ending the time changes, but it favors using standard time throughout the year instead of daylight saving time.

"Current evidence best supports the adoption of year-round standard time, which aligns best with human circadian biology and provides distinct benefits for public health and safety," the group said in a statement on its website.

Saine’s bill passed the House two years ago in a 100-16 vote, but it stalled in the Senate. This year he says he’s got more support from key senators, such as Sen. Ralph Hise, R-Mitchell, who plans to co-sponsor an identical bill with Sen. Vickie Sawyer, R-Iredell.

Even if the bill becomes law in North Carolina, the state still won’t eliminate the time change unless Congress takes action too.

While Saine says it’s the most popular bill he’s ever filed, North Carolina can’t make the change alone. He said it’s about sending a message to the state's representatives in Washington, D.C.

“This is one of those where it really does take an act of Congress to get it done.”

Copyright 2023 North Carolina Public Radio. To see more, visit North Carolina Public Radio.

Colin Campbell