PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — A bill that intends to make daylight saving time permanent in Pennsylvania is picking up steam in the state House.
The measure, introduced by state Rep. Ryan Mackenzie, who represents parts of Berks and Lehigh counties, calls on Congress to adopt daylight saving time year-round.
“We want to end shifting clocks, end the disruption in people’s lives,” Mackenzie said. “It brings about safer health outcomes, safer communities.”
He said changing the clocks twice a year not only plays havoc with sleep schedules but also carries health risks.
“What we’ve seen is that there are more strokes, more car accidents, more deaths resulting from time change and that disruption in people’s schedules,” he said.
Mackenzie’s bill was recently adopted overwhelmingly — 23-2 — by the House State Government Committee and could be scheduled for a vote on the House floor this session.
“Fifteen states across the country have already done this, and we’re hoping to make Pennsylvania the 16th state,” Mackenzie said.
The states would have to work in tandem to weigh in, but ultimately it will be up to Congress to adopt any time-change bill. Mackenzie said there already is some bipartisan support in the U.S. Senate for it.
“What people dislike the most is changing the clocks back and forth,” Mackenzie added. “So really the question is do you go to permanent standard time or permanent daylight saving time?”
Pennsylvania House majority leader Kerry Benninghoff said there are some state lawmakers who prefer standard time be permanent, and he said he’ll add an amendment onto Mackenzie’s bill and allow debate on that too.
“I think this is a longer-term proposal that may play out over several years,” Mackenzie said. “But I think decidedly, the momentum is behind daylight saving time — not just in Pennsylvania but across the country and across the globe as well.”