Who doesn’t love a little sunshine? What if we could get more of it with a simple vote from a legislature or Congress?
North Carolina State Rep. Jon Hardister is trying to do just that. He has introduced a bill in the General Assembly to put North Carolina back on Daylight Saving Time permanently.
“Most people work, roughly, 9-to-5. It’s not really a great situation, the sun gets down about the time you get off work,” said Hardister, who has gotten more comments on his social media posts about this than almost anything lately.
“Sunlight makes us want to get out and do something. It’s good for us to engage in physical activity,” he said.
And he’s not alone in trying to make this happen for North Carolina.
“The last three years have seen a number of states really taking a look at why don’t we just stay on DST on a permanent basis. Florida’s taking a look at it, other states are taking a look at it, no surprise North Carolina is also taking a look at it,” Wake Forest University political scientist John Dinan said.
For Hardister, it goes beyond common sense to some real scientific reasons for putting that extra hour of light at the end of the day, rather than the beginning.
“Seasonal depression is a real issue, getting vitamin D is something that’s clinically proven to be good for you. That’s hard to do at the end of the day when it gets dark,” Hardister said. “Now, we’ll lose a little light at the beginning of the day but towards the end, that’s when people like to go outside or at least go for a walk or do something. This would allow that to happen.”
As for what other states do, that’s up to Congress.
“There are various things that Congress could do – one is, Congress could simply allow a state, if it wanted to, say North Carolina if you wanted to, you could do that; Florida, if you wanted to, you could do that. That probably has some more support than making a permanent Daylight Saving Time for all 50 states,” Dinan said.
See why states have to get permission from Congress – and, why Congress may not be quick to provide it – in this edition of the Buckley Report.