How permanent Daylight Saving Time would affect Minnesota

Permanent daylight savings time will mean darker winter mornings with sunrise coming as late as 8:51 a.m. in January for Minnesotans. 

The U.S. Senate unanimously passed the Sunshine Act on Tuesday, which would make Daylight Saving Time permanent. This means Americans would never have to "spring forward" or "fall back" starting in 2023.

The proposed bill will now move to the House. If House members approve, it would then go to President Joe Biden’s desk to be signed into law. 

How would permanent daylight savings time affect Minnesotans?

If the bill makes it through this legislative session, a permanent daylight savings time would mostly impact Minnesotans during the colder months.

That would mean that from Nov. 7 to Feb. 23, Minnesota would see a sunrise after 8 a.m. One of the latest sunrises in early January would happen at almost 9 a.m. For those of us early risers – that’s a lot of darkness.

On the other hand, the change would move sunset to 5:23 pm. at its earliest.

What is daylight savings time?

According to the U.S. Department of Commerce, daylight saving time, or DST, started in the U.S. in 1918 as a way to create more sunlit hours when the weather is the warmest. 

During the long days of summer, the sun rose in some northern regions between 4 and 5 a.m., when most non-farmers were asleep. Sunset happened before 8 p.m. and people turned on lights. By moving the clocks ahead an hour, backers believed the country could divert a bit of coal-fired electricity to the military instead of using it for an hour of home power. It was again adopted in World War II.

After each war, Congress rescinded the national laws, but many people liked the extra hour of sunshine at the end of summer days, so some states and even cities observed daylight saving time while others kept standard time year-round. That meant driving relatively short distances could result in a time change or three.

By 1966, airlines and other clock-watching businesses tired of such quirks and pushed Congress to pass the Uniform Time Act. It codified daylight saving time, although it has been periodically modified, particularly the start and end dates. The only states not observing daylight time are Hawaii and Arizona, except for the latter’s Navajo reservations, which do.

DST is not observed in Hawaii, American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands and the state of Arizona (with the exception of the Navajo Indian Reservation). 

The Associated Press and FOX TV Digital Team contributed to this report.