By Maggie Thurber | Special to Ohio Watchdog
Because of daylight saving time, we ‘spring forward’ in March and ‘fall back’ in November – and we’ve been doing so on and off since World War I. But do we need to continue this ritual of changing our clocks by an hour twice a year?
“The reasoning for daylight saving time is long past,” he said, “and the reasons for stopping it are paramount. It makes peoples’ lives easier. I have 14 clocks I have to change twice a year and for at least one I have to refer to the manual. It takes 15-20 minutes to change them all — that’s a half hour out of my life that I could be doing things more productive.”
But it’s not just the aggravation, “health savings and projected dollar savings are tremendous,” he said.
“When you disrupt people’s sleep habits, it makes them unalert — if there is such a word — which causes health issues and all kinds of issues,” Combs said. “The impact can last up to 10 days past the time change.”
Combs said he has spoken to the Ohio Farm Bureau and farmers in his district and they have no preference on the time zone because it has no effect on what they do.
He said that State Rep. Teresa Fedor, D-District 47, pointed out that not changing to DST would be safer for children because “they are going to school in the dark where, if you leave time alone, you’d have more daylight in the morning.”
He said he’s also spoken to business people who told him they don’t care what the time zone is so long as it is consistent.
And that is the key, Combs said. His plan is to make the change contingent upon other states going along.
“In order to make it work, you’d have to have the whole Eastern Seaboard agreeing with it and going along with it,” he said.
He suggested one way to make the change work would be a compact with other states, similar to the recent Lake Erie Compact in which a group of states agreed on procedures for water withdrawal from Lake Erie.
“Ohio could be a leader in this,” Combs said. “I’ve had conversations with representatives and senators from other states about what their feelings would be and I haven’t had any broad opposition, just concurrence.”
The only opposition he’s heard has been from golfers who are worried about not having enough daylight in the evenings for a full round of golf.
There has been one hearing on the bill and Combs said he expects more will be held after the summer recess. In the meantime, he plans to do some more research, more investigation and talk with more people about the idea.
If successful, he said, Ohio will be the leader and will be able “to stop this nonsense of changing times twice a year.”