DAVENPORT, Iowa — We have gotten into the habit of switching our clocks twice each year, in March and November, in conjunction with daylight saving time starting and ending.
Federal lawmakers in the U.S. Senate now want to make daylight saving time permanent, and some Quad Cities area parents are all for it.
"Keep it forever," Darlene Connelly said. "We don’t need to change. We like longer days anyway, and it messes with everybody’s schedule."
Jacy Sandrock, a parent in Bettendorf, agrees.
"I've never really understood why we go back and forth," Sandrock said.
The potential change would mean more consistency for her family.
"I am a new mom to 1-year-old twins," Sandrock said. "So as any mother would know, it’s difficult with the time change for sleep. It takes probably two or three months to adjust for kids to that time change, and then you spend about four months getting on that regular schedule."
What's happening at the federal level?
More than a dozen states right now have passed laws that would make daylight saving time permanent, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Federal law, though, does not allow states to make those individual changes.
The "Sunshine Protection Act of 2021" passed on Tuesday in the U.S. Senate could change that.
That bill would still need to be approved by the U.S. House of Representatives and then signed by President Biden.
If the bill were to be signed into law, the change would take effect in 2023.
Florida Sen. Marco Rubio spoke on the Senate floor Tuesday about the delay, and cited the need for airline and train companies, along with other industries, to plan for this change. Rubio said some of those industries already have schedules posted using current time schedules.
What would happen if DST were permanent?
StormTrack 8 Meteorologist Andrew Stutzke explained what would happen if the law were to pass and be signed by the president.
"We would spring forward one more time and then that's it, never again," Stutzke said.
Stutzke said the potential change would give us a later winter sunrise, but also a later sunset during the winter months. The summer sunrise and sunset would remain unchanged, Stutzke said.
Stutzke also spoke about the impacts of adopting daylight saving time permanently, especially for younger children who are in school.
"That 8:30 a.m. sunrise, especially if you're a parent and you've got kids, that means your kids are going to be sitting at the bus stop in the morning in the dark," Stutzke said.
Stutzke boiled down the discussion to a lifestyle preference, saying, "folks are tired of this constant switching back and forth."
Parents like Sandrock agree there is a downside to having the days start darker in the mornings.
"Being dark when you go to school, especially if you have to work and your kids take the bus or they walk to school, that is a concern," Sandrock said.
However, Sandrock said the concern is one she would be willing to address down the road when it becomes an issue.
Ultimately, the positives for these Quad Citizens outshine the negatives.