By an overwhelming majority, the Illinois Senate has approved a measure that would lead the state to observe Daylight Saving Time throughout the year.
By a vote of 44-2, Senate Bill 533 passed the chamber on Tuesday and was referred to the State House during the legislature’s veto session.
The proposal was originally put together by students from Carlinville High School.
“It was a well-thought out proposal that I felt deserved consideration in Springfield,” State Senator Andy Manar said in a statement. “Given the loss of productivity caused by the arbitrary Daylight Saving Time change, and the various health and safety concerns that are supported by research, this proposal makes a lot of sense.”
According to the language of the bill, when clocks are moved an hour ahead in March 2020, they will remain on Central Daylight Time permanently thereafter.
While many lawmakers are in favor of the proposal, citing energy saving possibilities of making the time change permanent, some doctors caution that changing from standard time could actually have deleterious effects on state residents.
“As a result, you could see an increase in car crashes, heart attacks and problems at work after that spring forward,” Dr. Sabra Abbott, a sleep specialist at Northwestern, said.
Dr. Abbott also said that consistency of the clock could be a good thing, but that the risks of sleep deprivation and other medical factors could pose unexpected consequences.
Many circadian biologists, including Dr. Abbott, believe the negative impact of Daylight Saving Time are a mismatch between our internal, social and environmental clocks.
“Ideally we want all three of those to be aligned with one another,” she said.
If Illinois passes the measure, it would become the third state to make Daylight Saving Time permanent, joining Hawaii and Arizona. The Uniform Time Act of 1966 established Daylight Saving Time.