By Cole Lauterbach
SPRINGFIELD -Illinois lawmakers are one step closer to approving permanent daylight saving time, but the change would require federal approval, something that’s only been granted twice.
State Sen. Andy Manar’s legislation got bipartisan approval Tuesday and now awaits consideration in the House of Representatives.
If enacted, clocks in Illinois would “spring forward” one last time in March 2020 and then “daylight saving time shall be the year-round standard time of the entire state,” according to the text of the bill.
Only Arizona and Hawaii residents are free from the biannual clock tinkering that comes with daylight saving time.
Manar said that the state measure alone would not make the change.
“The only two ways that it can change in Illinois, ultimately, even with this bill becoming law, is either Congress gives us an exemption as a state or Congress implements a uniform standard presumably different than what we have nationwide,” he said.
The measure was suggested to Manar from a group of students who visited the statehouse.
Not all lawmakers were on board.
“If we’re going to not change them, what we need to do is go to our standard time and not daylight saving time,” said Sen. Linda Holmes, D-Aurora, who cited a number of health statistics and side effects of perpetually having sprung forward.
Some lawmakers were concerned that the change taking place only in Illinois would cause confusion in places near the state’s borders with Wisconsin, Missouri and Iowa. Indiana is in a different timezone.
Others jokingly asked the sponsor how people would know when to change their smoke detector batteries without the occasion to remind them.
A number of other states have approved similar measures, but would all still need either a federal waiver to make the change or see Congress enact a nationwide abolishment of the time change.
Hawaii and Arizona don’t observe daylight saving time.
Cole Lauterbach reports on Illinois government and statewide issues for The Center Square. He has produced radio shows for stations in Bloomington/Normal and Peoria, and created award-winning programs for Comcast SportsNet Chicago.