New legislation seeks to move Pennsylvania to Daylight Saving Time permanently | News | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

New legislation seeks to move Pennsylvania to Daylight Saving Time permanently

On April 5, the Pennsylvania House of Representatives passed legislation that, if approved by passed by the state Senate and signed by Gov. Tom Wolf, would make say that the commonwealth approves of making Daylight Saving Time permanent. That would mean, if U.S. Congress approves, Pennsylvanians would no longer set their clocks back to Standard Time in the fall.

With a vote total of 103-98, the state House joins 15 other states in proposing this change, though it is currently not allowed by federal law. U.S. Congress must pass a law to allow states like Pennsylvania to move to permanent Daylight Savings Time, and U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Florida) has recently proposed such a move.

The Pa. bill's primary sponsor was state Rep. Ryan Mackenzie (R-Lehigh). According to Pennlive, he cited studies that claim staying on Daylight Saving Time will “save energy, reduce traffic crashes, reduce crime, and lead to healthier lifestyles.” He also noted that less than 40% of the countries around the world recognize Daylight Saving Time, and that number is decreasing.

The bill (House Bill 335) now moves to the state Senate. State Rep. Kevin Boyle (D-Philadelphia) was opposed to the bill, as were most Democrats, and he told PennLive that this is “very consequential legislation” that they may come to regret. “I think we need more time to consider this legislation” he added. Under permanent Daylight Savings Time, sunrise in Pittsburgh on Dec. 21 — the shortest day of the year — would occur at 8:39 a.m., and sunset would occur at 5:56 p.m.

MacKenzie noted that this legislation doesn’t decrease the amount of daylight available to residents, it just shifts the daylight hours to align more with the working and living hours of people’s lives.

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