Should NJ Finally Get Rid of Daylight Saving Time?
It's time to set our clocks back this weekend as Daylight Saving Time ends at 2 a.m. Sunday, but efforts to stop the annual changing of the clocks are intensifying on the state and national level.
New Jersey State Senator Shirley Turner sponsored a bill in 2019 to permanently observe Daylight Saving Time by remaining on Eastern Daylight Time (EDT) year-round. The bill has been stalled in committee ever since.
Turner argues, "Several studies have shown the biannual change between EST and EDT is disruptive to commerce and to the daily schedules, safety, and health of the citizens of the country, and therefore, the residents of this State."
New Jersey is not alone in this debate. 33 states, including Pennsylvania and New York, have pending legislation that would make Daylight Saving Time permanent.
U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) has sponsored federal legislation to end the practice. “The call to end the antiquated practice of clock changing is gaining momentum throughout the nation,” Rubio said in a written statement last March.
The concept of Daylight Saving Time actually originated as a joke of sorts, made by Benjamin Franklin.
Franklin was serving as U.S. Special Envoy to France in 1784. He wrote a satirical letter to the Journal de Paris, suggesting if people were to rise earlier each morning, it would save money on candles. The letter is where he first coined the phrase, "Early to bed, early to rise."
In more practical applications, the clock change was intended to give farmers more time to harvest their crops. Some studies have shown there is a saving on electricity.
Modern opposition to ending Daylight Saving Time comes from the U.S. Department of Transportation, claiming it would result in more traffic accidents. Fire safety officials also want to keep the practice as a reminder to change the batteries in your smoke detectors.
Sen. Turner's legislation dismisses those arguments and says it would make life easier and boost economic activity if we got rid of it.