Nebraska would have year-round daylight savings time under a bill heard at the Nebraska Legislature Feb. 19.
Sen. Tom Briese of Albion, presented LB1015 to the government committee in hopes to move to year-round standard time. Briese described the current exercise of changing the clocks twice a year for the time change as “deadly and costly.”
“This practice is actually hurting and even killing people,” Briese told the committee. “A study by the University of Michigan, University of Colorado and U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs in 2014 found a 24% increase in heart attacks following on Monday following the time change.”
Parents complain that the time change makes it harder to get their children up for school and children lose out on an hour of daylight for after school activities.
Briese said one of his greatest reasons for suggesting this change is because “the potential increase in economic activity that could flow from daylight savings time.”
During his opening statement, Briese told the committee that a study done by JPMorgan Chase & Co. and “found an average increase in credit card activity of 1.5% for the 30 days immediately following the start of daylight savings time and an average decrease of 3.5% following the start of standard time.”
In 1966, the United States enacted the Uniform Time Act which made states choose whether they wanted to change their clocks twice a year and participate in daylight savings time or have year-round standard time.
States that run on year-round standard time include Arizona and Hawaii along with multiple U.S. territories.
A similar bill has been introduced in 30 other states and was passed in seven other states, according to Briese. South Carolina’s governor most recently approved a bill for daylight savings time year-round.
Jim Timm, president and executive director of the Nebraska Broadcasters Association, opposed the bill.
“We don’t oppose the concept of permanent DST; we’re opposed to operating on different clocks than those of neighboring states,” Timm said.
On behalf of the Nebraska Golf Alliance, Joe Kohout took a neutral stand but said this bill is the “right direction to go.”
Before the bill could go into effect, the federal government must allow states to choose to have standard year-round time or daylight savings time. For Nebraska to adopt the bill, Briese proposed waiting until two neighboring states also pass similar bills.
The committee took no immediate action.