In a move that has been talked about for decades, the United States may soon adopt Daylight Saving Time on a permanent basis, with the Senate unanimously passing legislation to do just that on Tuesday.
The bill will now head to the House, and if passed there will be sent to President Joe Biden’s desk.
Here’s what that bill could mean for you in the years ahead:
When Would the Bill Take Effect?
According to the text of the bill, Illinois residents would still need to change their clocks at least two more times. The new time wouldn’t go into full effect until 2023, with clocks not rolling back after springing ahead for Daylight Saving Time in March of next year.
After that March 2023 spring forward, no more time changes would take place in most of the United States.
How Would The Change Impact Winter in the Midwest?
Illinois residents are used to the sun going down just after 4 p.m. in the month of December, but that would of course change with permanent Daylight Saving Time, with the earliest sunset of the year occurring on Dec. 8, 2023 at 5:21 p.m.
Twilight would allow for a bit of residual daylight to stick around until just before 6 p.m.
The real change would occur at sunrise. With the time shifted forward by an hour, sunrise would not occur until after 8 a.m. for a good chunk of the winter, meaning that morning commutes for students and workers would be a bit darker.
In fact, sunrise wouldn’t occur until after 8 a.m. for a span of nearly two months, from Dec. 4 to Feb. 3.
Since Daylight Saving Time is already in effect during the summer, the earliest sunrise of the year (June 13) and the latest sunset of the year (June 24) will remain unaffected.
*Note: All times listed here are accurate for the winter of 2023 and 2024, the first season that the new times would be in effect.
Why Make the Change?
According to Reuters, at least 30 states have introduced legislation to end the practice of changing times each year, and Rep. Frank Pallone cited a study that suggested 71% of Americans are in favor of ending the time change each year.
Supporters of the bill, including co-sponsor Sen. Marco Rubio, said that giving children an additional hour of sunlight after school will allow for safer trips home, more time spent outdoors and other health benefits. He also argued that there would be economic benefits to such a change.