JEFFERSON CITY — The Missouri House gave preliminary approval Wednesday to a plan to make daylight saving time the new year-round standard time.
The move, which will require other states and the federal government to get on board, would stop the shift back and forth from daylight saving time to standard time.
“It would eliminate the twice per year time change,” said Rep. Chris Sander, R-Lone Jack. “Daylight savings time would be year-round.”
Under the plan, Missouri would be entered into a “pact” with other states, which would trigger the shift to permanent daylight saving time when enough states join.
Sander said 23 states have passed legislation to “put themselves in the queue” for switching to permanent daylight saving time when the federal government allows it. The only bordering state he listed is Tennessee, next to the Missouri Bootheel. Several others, including Illinois, have introduced daylight saving time legislation this year.
Rep. Wes Rogers, D-Kansas City, earlier introduced a similar proposal, which he said was inspired by constituents who contacted him about struggling with the time change. He said science shows it takes people a long time to recover after a switch, especially those with medical conditions.
“There’s a persuasive argument that this is a good economic bill,” Rogers said.
Rep. Rasheen Aldridge, D-St. Louis, however, questioned whether it would affect school kids, who would have to wake up in the dark during the winter months.
Daylight saving time makes it stay dark later into the morning, meaning children could end up waiting at bus stops in the dark.
Supporters said one solution could be to push the school start time back an hour, which he said would also let students sleep more and be better for their health.
Similar legislation introduced in recent years has not advanced to the governor’s desk.
The legislation is House Bill 848.