ST. PAUL — As Minnesotans prepare to spring forward for daylight saving time next week, lawmakers are taking up a proposal to keep Minnesota on that time zone for good.
Members of the Senate Committee on Local Government on Tuesday, Feb. 25, on a voice vote advanced a proposal to make Minnesota's official time zone advanced standard time. The move would put the state on permanent daylight saving time if the federal government approved the shift.
Sen. Mary Kiffmeyer, R-Big Lake, brought the bill and said it would help reduce health issues related to the twice-yearly change to move an hour forward in the spring and fall back an hour in the autumn.
"I think the public health and public safety issues that come with these one-hour changes in the fall, that seems to upset people more than anything," Kiffmeyer said. "And the only way we can get to having that consistent year-round time with the gentle movement that the sun gives us in the daylight and how that shifts is by adapting to daylight saving time when the federal government should pass that."
Democrats in the Minnesota House of Representatives have put forth a similar proposal. Leaders in both chambers of the divided government have said they're open to the change.
Kiffmeyer said she would also check with Minnesota's surrounding states to see whether they'd take up similar proposals. Iowa is weighing a similar plan and South Dakota's House of Representatives voted down a proposal to permanently adopt daylight saving time earlier this month. North Dakota last year rejected a proposal to permanently put the state on the Central Time Zone.