Tennessee state lawmakers will consider legislation this week implementing Daylight Savings Time all year long.
The bill will appear before the Senate State and Local Government Committee and House Finance, Ways, and Means Committee on Tuesday.
House bill sponsor and Lawrenceburg Representative Rick Tillis said earlier this month that several school officials in his district support the idea.
“Their opinion and feeling was we’re already picking up children in the dark during the winter time, [so] it really makes no difference to them,” Tillis said. “As far as safety groups, no one has contacted me. But there is documented evidence that when we spring forward every spring, there’s an increase in motor-vehicle accidents.”
Tillis said the bill would help reduce the number of crashes per year and would benefit overall public health.
“The American Heart Association has documented that every time we spring forward, there’s a 24 percent increase in heart attacks,” Tillis said. “I’m sure you hear from family members and people that you might walk around the halls with, three days after the spring forward everyone’s walking around in a haze trying to get back on schedule.”
Kingsport Representative Bud Hulsey said although a large majority of his constituents support the move, a change could possibly affect cities like Bristol.
“Right above me is the city of Bristol (Virginia). If you’ve been up there, the state line is State Street which runs right smack down the middle of downtown,” Hulsey said. “Bristol city is telling me they’re going to have some real serious problems computer-wise. I don’t understand it all… but even though my district says ‘yup, that’s what we want,’ there are some problems out here we’re going to have to deal with.”
Tillis said at least six of Tennessee’s eight bordering states are considering similar legislation in switching to Daylight Savings Time all year. California and Florida state lawmakers have passed similar bills within the past year.
If approved, United States Congress members will need to pass legislation of their own allowing the switch.
Livingston Representative John Mark Windle is asking citizens to answer a one-question survey so that they may share their thoughts on the proposed bill.