A state lawmaker from Lebanon County wants to eliminate daylight saving time in Pennsylvania.
“We’ve been doing this for a lot of years and it’s just outdated,” said Rep. Russ Diamond, a Republican from the 102nd District. “The negative consequences far outweigh any benefits we get from it.”
Daylight saving time traces its roots back to World War I and was meant to save energy. It was a time when most energy was consumed by lights turned on in homes.
But Diamond says Americans no longer live as they did 100 years ago and use far more energy via other electronics that aren’t dependent on light.
Monday, he put out a call for co-sponsors to a bill that would eliminate daylight saving time for the entire state.
So far, he has six supporters – both Democrat and Republican.
“[I want to] permanently put Pennsylvania on Eastern Standard Time to stop changing the clocks twice a year and to just have one time all year long,” Diamond said.
He argues the practice reduces employee productivity which costs money, adding the spring and fall resets can even affect your health.
“In the weeks following changing of clocks, both spring and fall, there are increases in heart attacks, strokes, miscarriages, workplace accidents,” he said.
We took the question to two moms at Lebanon Valley Mall, where Diamond’s office is located: to turn back time or not?
“I can trick them and make them go to bed earlier because it’s darker,” said Jessica Lodish, who’s indifferent about the issue, “but I do like the longer days in the summer because the kids get to go out and play. [It] makes them really tired. They’re ready for bed.”
“You can definitely notice it when you’re taking an hour away from them. Their moods change a little bit. They’re a little bit more cranky,” said mom, Peggy Mogel.
We talked with Mogel while she waited for her son to get a haircut at Hollywood Lou’s.
His barber was not a fan of Diamond’s proposal.
“I like longer days and shorter nights, I actually like it when there’s more daytime than nighttime,” said BJ Read. “Nobody wants to be in the dark too long. We don’t live in Alaska.”
Diamond believes if the Legislature takes action, which is all that is required to make the change, neighboring states will follow.