The U.S. Senate unanimously approved a measure Tuesday that would make daylight saving time permanent, effectively eliminating the practice of turning clocks back one hour in November.
Senators argued that the bill, which still requires approval from the House of Representatives and the president, would improve mental health and possibly boost the economy by delaying winter sunsets.
The experiment has been tried once before in the United States. In the 1970s, a congressional decision to extend daylight saving time throughout the year received a cold reception from the public, some of whom worried about an increase in traffic accidents in the dark early morning hours, according to The New York Times.
Nearly a dozen states across the U.S. have standardized daylight saving time, but Maryland isn’t one of them.
Here’s how the change, which could take effect as soon as 2023, would change sunset and sunrise times in Baltimore, according to Time and Date:
The earliest sunset of the year would be at about 5:43 p.m.
Now, the earliest sunset of the year for Baltimore in 2023 is set for Dec. 7 at 4:43 p.m. But that’s after the clocks “fall back” in November, so under a permanent daylight saving time, Baltimoreans would get an extra 60 minutes of sunlight, and the sun wouldn’t descend any earlier than 5:43 p.m.
For a 9-to-5er, that’d spell the end of leaving the office in darkness.
The latest sunrise of the year would be at about 8:26 a.m.
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A permanent daylight saving time would mean fewer people get to wake up with the sun, however. From late November through mid-February, the sun would rise after 8 a.m. in Baltimore. That’d mean plenty of commutes to work and school before sunrise.
In Baltimore, Jan. 5 will have the latest sunrise of 2024 at 7:26 a.m. Keeping daylight saving time in place would move that time to 8:26 a.m.
(In a given place, the sunrise and sunset times vary slightly from year to year. That’s because our measurement of time falls further off track each year, until it’s corrected with the addition of an extra day on leap years.)
Impacts on winter holidays
If daylight saving time stuck around in the winter, Hanukkah would start a bit later, and Christmas morning gift-giving might, too.
In 2023, Hanukkah is poised to begin at sundown (around 4:43 p.m. in Baltimore) on Dec. 7. So if the clocks never fell back, menorah lightings would begin around 5:43 p.m. instead.
On Christmas morning, the sunrise time in Baltimore would be at about 8:24 a.m. instead of 7:24 a.m. Maybe that would give parents just a bit more time to sleep before kids awaken, eager to discover what Santa left.
The Associated Press contributed to this article.