SC lawmakers consider no longer observing daylight saving time

YORK COUNTY, SC (WBTV) - Many Americans are likely still getting adjusted to daylight saving time after most states sprung their clocks forward on Sunday.

It's a practice most of America has recognized since the early 1900s, springing forward by one hour in March and falling back one hour in November. According to local economists, it started in an effort to conserve energy and, in turn, save money.

However, now roughly a century later, some say it's actually not true.

"I think most of the reasons for starting it in the first place have been debunked," Assistant Dean of the College of Business and Economic Professor at Winthrop University Laura Ulrich said. "If there's no reason to do it, then I think it makes sense to change it, however, it does seem like something that needs to be changed everywhere."

Now South Carolina lawmakers are weighing the pros and cons of switching your clocks twice a year.

The South Carolina Senate adopted a bill on March 7 to request the Senate Committee on Interstate Cooperation to study the impact of no longer observing daylight saving time. It asks that the committee reach out to neighboring states about the proposal. If approved by the governor, the Senate Committee is expected to reveal its findings by July 1, 2018.

DOCUMENT: Click here to view the Senate bill

In the South Carolina House, a bill was proposed to provide a statewide referendum be placed on the 2018 November General Election, asking the public if they would prefer to no longer observe daylight saving time and instead remain in standard time year-round. The bill was referred to the Committee on Judiciary on Jan. 9.

Many living near the state line are concerned over the confusion it could cause, especially if you live in one state and work in another.

"If you have to be at work at 8 o'clock in the morning in Charlotte, but it's 7 o'clock in Rock Hill - that obviously is a big deal for those people," Ullrich said.

The Senate resolution says the committee set to research the problem is expected to consult neighboring states.

If the Palmetto State does stop switching times, the other question that comes up is which time will be observed year-round - standard time or daylight saving time?

Both bills introduced in the South Carolina Legislature list no longer observing daylight saving time and remaining in standard time year-round. However, that could have an impact on the state's economy.

"There is some evidence that shows people spend more during the daylight saving time," Ullrich said. "So from an economic standpoint, I think it would make more sense to stay in daylight saving time year-round rather than standard time year-round."

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