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Legislative committee hears daylight saving time concerns PDF Print E-mail

LB101 would eliminate Nebraska from observing daylight saving time.

 

By Emily Nohr
Nebraska News Service

LaVonne Dilla thinks eliminating daylight saving time would be convenient. For her, it would mean getting to work in her garden an hour earlier every day.
“If you want to do your yard work, you have to wait an extra hour in the morning to wait for the dew to get off the grass so you can mow,” said Dilla, of Lincoln.
Dilla is just one Nebraskan who supports LB101, a bill that would eliminate Nebraska from observing daylight saving time. A hearing on the bill was held Thursday afternoon, Jan. 20.
At the hearing, District 47 Sen. Ken Schilz of Ogallala, who introduced the bill, asked lawmakers to explore whether the state’s observation of the twice-a-year time change is effective.
Schilz said he has received an outpouring of e-mails from his constituents in support of the bill. Some were diabetic, arguing that daylight saving time makes managing blood sugar difficult.
“It can really mess with their regimen,” Schilz said. “It becomes a huge issue.”
Schilz said other health issues occur each fall and spring during the time change, like confusion, stress and a higher chance of heart attacks.
The United States first adopted a federal law for daylight saving time in 1918.
Starting in 1945, state and local governments were granted the option to observe the time change. Currently, Arizona and Hawaii are the only states that do not observe daylight saving time.
Nebraska originally chose to observe it because of studies that showed energy savings, a usual argument for the twice-a-year time change, Schilz said.
But those savings cannot be proven, he argued.
District 16 Sen. Lydia Brasch of Bancroft raised concern about confusion for businesses if daylight saving time was eliminated.
“It’s difficult to determine which states are and which are not in daylight saving time,” she said.
Schilz said he already has experience dealing with neighbors in different time zones. Part District 47 operates in Mountain Standard Time, while the majority of the district uses Central Standard Time.
“You get good at adding and subtracting the hour,” Schilz said with a laugh.
Margaret McGurk-Kramer of Lincoln testified in support of the bill, noting her body takes more than a couple of weeks to adjust to the time change every fall and spring.
“I’m one of those people that takes one to two months,” she said, “and there’s a lot more people out there like me.”
McGurk-Kramer also said dealing with daylight saving time gets time consuming. Some households may have up to 50 devices that require a time change, she said.
No one testified against the bill.