Sen. Tommy Tuberville shared stories from Alabama residents who want to do away with daylight saving time during a floor speech Monday pointing out his support for a Senate bill to stop the yearly tradition of springing forward and falling back.
Tuberville noted that daylight saving time was created as a temporary measure during World War I and was initially known as “war time” to help conserve fuel and resources.
“Changes to our clocks may have made sense when it first began, but it certainly doesn’t now,” he said Monday on the Senate floor. “To turn the clocks back each year is a nuisance and not smart policy.”
Tuberville read a letter from a constituent in Talladega County who wrote, “Daylight saving time year-round means the elderly, like myself, will be able to be more active in the early evenings.”
A Mobile resident, the senator said, urged him to “please try and do whatever is necessary to have daylight saving time permanent in Alabama. Everyone I know and talk to wants this. Who would not want more daylight in the evening?”
A third constituent — a mental health professional — wrote to Tuberville that the time changes increase depression and decreases productivity in half of his psychiatric patients.
Tuberville said he agreed.
“It is no wonder that cases of SAD — or seasonal affective disorder — are much more common in the winter months than they are in the spring,” he said.
Springing forward and falling back costs the country $430 million a year in lost productivity, according to Tuberville.
He noted that legislation or resolutions to “flip the switch on this outdates practice” if the federal government abolishes daylight saving time.
“Let’s give American’s something to celebrate: Longer days and more sunshine,” he said.
Tuberville is a cosponsor of the Sunshine Protection Act that would make daylight saving time permanent.