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Keeping Maryland on Daylight Saving Time: the pros and cons

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Poster celebrating congressional enactment of Daylight Saving Time in 1918, at the height of World War I. Uncle Sam's rifle and hoe signify the initial belief that battlefield soldiers and farmers would benefit from the extra hour of daylight. (source: Library of Congress/Wikipedia)

Last month, to the surprise of many, the United States Senate passed, by voice vote, a measure that would keep Daylight Saving Time year round. No more falling back in November and springing forward in March. The bill still has to clear the House. Neither Speaker Nancy Pelosi nor President Biden has said whether or not they support it.

We tried this once before. In 1974, Congress tried permanent Daylight Saving Time in an effort to save energy, by increasing daylight hours at the end of the day. Americans hated it, and we’ve been changing our clocks twice a year ever since. Recent polling, however, indicates much broader support for the idea.

Today on Midday, a conversation about the merits and pitfalls of permanent daylight saving time, or the counter proposals: making standard time permanent, or staying with the system we’ve got.

We begin our discussion with a Delegate from the Maryland General Assembly who has introduced a bill that would keep the clocks set to Daylight Saving Time all year in Maryland.

Del. Brian Crosby represents District 29B, in St. Mary’s County. He's a Democrat who serves as the vice chair of the Economic Matters Committee in the House of Delegates.

Delegate Crosby joins Tom on Zoom from St. Mary's County.

Later in the hour, Tom talks with Dr. Beth Ann Malow, a professor of neurology and pediatrics at Vanderbilt University Medical Center who has studied what happens when we switch back and forth between standard and daylight time. She's also the director of Vanderbilt’s sleep division.

Dr. Malow joins us on Zoom from Nashville, Tennessee.

Then, for another perspective on the issue of making Daylight Saving Time permanent, Tom speaks with Lisa VanBuskirk. She's the Maryland and Anne Arundel County chapter leader of Start School Later, a nonprofit advocacy group that is concerned with kids starting their school day in the dark. 

Lisa VanBuskirk joins us on Zoom…

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MD. Del. Brian Crosby (D., Dist 29B); Dr. Beth Ann Malow, Vanderbilt University; Lisa VanBuskirk, Start School Later MD (courtesy photos)

Host, Midday (M-F 12:00-1:00)
Malarie is Midday's Supervisory Producer.
Rob is Midday's senior producer.