Perhaps this is a good year to end daylight saving time

Thursday, January 19, 2017

A day before the first African American president leaves office and Donald Trump checks into the White House, there are few things less important than daylight saving time.

That's especially true in Nebraska's capital, where Gov. Pete Ricketts, in response to projected budget shortfalls, is proposing sweeping changes to the state's property tax system as well as agency reform and spending cuts finding opposition in from many quarters.

But a bill (LB309) to eliminate daylight saving time in Nebraska is one that was introduced Sen. Lydia Brasch of Bancroft.

We have to admit mixed feelings about the proposal.

One of the highlights of the year is the switch to DST, marking the arrival of the warm, sunny weather we have been waiting for all winter.

When we "fall back," the extra hour of sleep is welcome.

But the real reason we might support retention of daylight saving time is very personal. Railing against the change has helped fill this space twice a year for many years in the past.

While supporters insist it saves energy, boosts tourism and encourages people to get more exercise and fresh air as well as other benefits, you probably know the arguments against it. Opponents say daylight saving time disrupts the sleep cycle, increases the number of heart attacks, doesn't really save energy, forces people to leave home when it is still dark and causes more accidents because drivers are sleepy.

On second thought, perhaps repealing daylight saving time is just the sort of distraction Nebraska lawmakers will welcome as a break from dealing with weightier issues.

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