Georgia House passes bill making daylight saving time permanent

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Georgia's House of Representatives has approved a bill that could end the state's tradition of springing forward and falling back the clock twice every year.

The idea of setting clocks permanently has bipartisan support, but the state must settle on one solution to the problem. In 2021, Georgia legislators have passed two bills, one in the House of Representatives and one in the Senate, that would eliminate the need to change clocks twice per year.

Monday, the state House of Representatives voted 111 to 48 to approve Senate Bill 100, which originally would make standard time the permanent norm in the state.

However, after the bill made its way to the House, lawmakers made an adjustment removing the language about standard time. The bill now would effectively make daylight saving time permanent, in line with the House's own bill that passed on March 5.

The bill now goes back to the Senate to debate the changes.

Senate bill sponsor Ben Waton, R-Savannah, said studies show an increase in heart attacks and judges imposing harsher criminal sentences just after time changes.

MORE: Georgians prepare to spring forward as bills debate future of time changes

"You don’t need me here to tell you your sleep patterns are disrupted for two weeks in spring and fall," Watson said.

Watson said surveys show people would prefer more daylight in the evening. Watson also said it would be desirable for Georgia to act in conjunction with neighboring states.

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Moving to daylight saving time year-round would impose a two-hour difference with neighboring Alabama if the state remained on Central Time. Could be awkward for Georgians living near the border, where a few miles would mean clocks were severely inaccurate.

According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 15 states have enacted legislation in the last four years to provide for year-round daylight saving time.

An act of Congress is required to allow the change due to federal law. As of 2021, Congress has not acted on allowing the change.

Currently, Hawaii and most of Arizona stay on standard time all year.

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The Associated Press contributed to this report.