Push for permanent daylight saving time returns to Minnesota legislature

In a few weeks, we'll spring forward for daylight saving time, but if a group of bipartisan lawmakers have their way, Minnesota will once and for all keep those clocks forward forever.

There is real interest at the state capitol to keep Minnesota in the daylight saving time zone permanently, but sleep specialists say that's actually not the best idea for our health.

We've all memorized the saying, "fall backwards, spring forward” when it comes to setting our clocks. The Uniform Time Act of 1966 provides the basic framework for alternating between daylight saving time and standard time, which the U.S. started observing after World War II.

Now, some Minnesota lawmakers think the tradition is outdated.

“More states are looking into moving in this direction in the last few years, so Minnesota could be one of them, and I think a lot of parents and families would be happy,” said Sen. Melisa Franzen, one of the authors of the bill that has bipartisan support both in the Senate and the House.

The bill is part of a larger movement to make daylight saving time the new standard time. Currently, federal law prohibits states from adding days to the daylight saving period but allows for standard time to be longer

In 2018, California and Florida voted to make daylight saving time permanent, and in 2019, six more states followed suit, but they still need approval from the federal government to implement the change.

However, studies show switching back and forth is detrimental to people's health, including children.

Dr. Andrew Stiehm, a sleep specialist with Allina Health, said the scientific opinion is that staying on standard time is the best option.

“We all would just like more sunshine and more stability, and I just think keeping things clearer and not as confusing like, ‘what is daylight savings time vs. standard time' ... I think there is some momentum,” Dr. Stiehm said.

Now, to complicate all of this, there are some states that require border states in the region to make the switch with them, such as Delaware and Oregon. Apparently Wisconsin and Illinois are also considering changing to daylight saving time, so that could be helpful if Minnesota lawmakers do pass this act.