March 23, 2017
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Legislators looking to eliminate daylight saving time

No more ‘Spring Forward’ or ‘Fall Back’ under Kerkman’s proposal


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KENOSHA NEWS STAFF


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Two Republican state representatives are circulating a bill that would eliminate daylight saving time in the state of Wisconsin.

Rep. Samantha Kerkman, R-Salem, and Rep. Michael Schraa, R-Oshkosh, are looking for co-sponsors for the bill that would end the “Spring Forward/Fall Back” switching of clocks that comes with the start and end of daylight saving time.

“As we look forward to the warmer weather in spring, many of us also dread the loss of an hour of sleep and every year people beg the question, why do we continue to do this?” Kerkman said in a statement.

Arizona and Hawaii do not recognize daylight saving time. Similar bills have been introduced in North Dakota, Iowa and Michigan that would end daylight saving time in those states as well.

Proponents of daylight saving time generally argue that it saves energy, promotes outdoor leisure activity in the evening (in summer), and is therefore good for physical and psychological health, reduces traffic accidents, reduces crime, or is good for business.

Groups that tend to support DST are urban workers, retail businesses, outdoor sports enthusiasts and businesses, tourism operators, and others who benefit from increased light during the evening in summer.

Opponents argue that actual energy savings are inconclusive, that DST increases health risks such as heart attack, that daylight saving time can disrupt morning activities and that the act of changing clocks twice a year is economically and socially disruptive and cancels out any benefit. Farmers have tended to oppose it.

Daylight saving time was originally adopted by Wisconsin in the 1959-1960 biennium after a statewide advisory referendum. Voters approved the measure 54 percent to 46 percent. Daylight saving time was added to federal law in 1966.

First proposed in New Zealand in 1895, it did not come into common use until the first world war.

Starting on April 30, 1916, the German Empire and its World War I ally Austria-Hungary were the first to use DST as a way to conserve coal during wartime. Britain, most of its allies, and many European neutrals soon followed suit. Russia and a few other countries waited until the next year and the United States adopted it in 1918.

Broadly speaking, daylight saving time was abandoned in the years after the first world war, with some notable exceptions including Canada, the UK, France, and Ireland. However, it was brought back for periods of time in many different places during the following decades, and commonly during World War II.

It became widely adopted, particularly in North America and Europe, starting in the 1970s as a result of the 1970s energy crisis.


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