Skip to main content
Delaware Senate Democrats

Sen. David McBride proposes ending daylight saving time changes

April 15, 2019

DOVER – Plenty of people complain about the dreaded biannual time shift that leaves so many of us cranky and tired each spring and fall.

Senate President Pro Tempore David McBride, D-Hawk’s Nest, believes the time has come to do something about it.

The Senate’s highest-ranking Democrat plans to introduce a bill Tuesday that eventually could get Delaware off of the daylight saving merry-go-round once and for all.

“I don’t know one person who likes moving their clocks forward and back,” Sen. McBride said. “It’s more than an annoyance, frankly. It’s a social experiment that has produced more harm than good and is now on the verge of becoming a public health issue.”

The time shifts related to daylight saving have been linked to spikes in heart attacks and pedestrian fatalities.

More than half of the nation’s state legislatures are now weighing bills to end the clock-changing – the most since the National Conference of State Legislatures began tracking the topic in 2014.

“As the father of a toddler, I can attest to what a huge difference a one-hour time change can make for families trying to keep their heads above water,” said Sen. Bryan Townsend, D-Bear/Newark, the bill’s co-prime sponsor in the Senate. “The truth is that these disruptive time changes, which can have negative impacts on health and accident rates, are part of an outdated system whose usefulness has long since passed.”

Following temporary adoptions in World War I and World War II, the current system was codified by Congress in 1966. Contrary to popular belief, the time changes were largely resisted by farmers. But they were adopted anyway due to dubious claims about energy savings.

The federal government still controls the nation’s time zones, along with the start and end dates for daylight saving time. Oddly, states can legally exempt themselves from daylight saving time altogether. Arizona and Hawaii already do that, while nine other states are currently debating doing the same.

Other states are exploring a number of workarounds that would move them in the opposite direction by permanently adopting daylight saving time – the one-hour earlier model that extends daylight hours in the summer – as the official standard.

Similar to proposals in Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont and South Carolina, Sen. McBride’s bill would ask the U.S. Department of Transportation to move the First State into the next time zone to the east, known as the Atlantic Standard Time Zone, if the neighboring states enact similar laws. In this case, the formal request would not be sent until Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Maryland also agree to make the switch.

“So many here in the Mid-Atlantic live in one state and work in another,” Sen. McBride said. “No one wants to lose an hour between home and the office. But if we all agree, we’ll never have to change our clocks again.”

SB 73 will be formally introduced Tuesday and assigned to the Senate Executive Committee.