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How to end clock-changing in Michigan: Put the whole state on Central Time

Steve Carmody
Michigan Radio
Remember to turn your clocks back one hour tonight

Changing our clocks can be a nuisance, yet we put up with it twice a year when we fall back and spring forward. 

No more, say some Michigan lawmakers. 

Rep. Pete Lucido, R-Shelby Township, and Rep. Jeff Irwin, D- Ann Arbor, are sponsoring a bill that would eliminate time-shifts in the state. 

The best way to do it? Stop changing our clocks. Be on Central Time during the summer months and Eastern Time during the winter.

While open to discussion, the lawmakers said using Chicago time for eight months out of the year and then New York time for four months would benefit the state as a whole. (Michigan's times wouldn't change but they would correspond with different time zones when the most of the rest of the country changes its clocks.)

Currently, four Michigan districts, all in the Upper Peninsula, operate on Central Time, while the rest of the state uses Eastern Time. 

Lucido said there is plenty of evidence showing daylight saving is detrimental to health in various ways, including added risk of car accidents, alcohol-related accidents, and even heart attacks. 

Not only that, Lucido said, but it's also a pain in the behind. 

"For health, safety, and educational issues, and stress and unnecessary worrying, I believe it's in our best interest to go ahead and just leave things alone and let it stay at Daylight Saving," he said. "We're tired of changing our clocks. We're just tired of it." 

Irwin agreed, saying the change would likely help tourism, allowing shops and restaurants to attract customers later into the evening. 

"We're trying to push for a discussion about why do we continue to do this? We're continuing to do this because it's the way we've always done it, but is it the way we should do it?" Irwin said. 

Daylight saving started in the U.S. as a fuel-saving measure during World War I. However, it's commonly thought that the practice also helps farmers, using as much sunlight as possible to allow additional time for planting and field work. 

These days, there are plenty opponents of daylight saving, including other state legislatures. Arizona no longer changes its clocks, instead using Daylight Saving Time year-round. Other states, like Florida, have also explored normalizing their clocks for the year. 

Additionally, studies by the U.S. Department of Energy show that remaining on DST leads to notable energy savings, keeping lights and indoor appliances off for longer. 

There's plenty of commentary out there on the subject, but perhaps "Last Week Tonight" explained it best: