The Illinois Senate approved a move Tuesday that would allow Illinois to stay on daylight saving time permanently.
State Sen. Andy Manar (D, Bunker Hill) says the idea was brought to him by a group of students who argued they could function better if the state stopped changing clocks.
“The arbitrary nature of changing time twice a year has significant impact on health and significant impact on productivity,” he told lawmakers during a Senate debate.
It’s a long-shot proposal that appeared to gain some traction after clocks were set back an hour earlier this month, and after Manar had posted on Facebook his intent to bring the measure up for a vote.
While proponents have argued keeping Illinois on daylight saving time would help residents stay healthy and focused at work or school, State Sen. Linda Holmes (D, Aurora) argued staying on standard time would achieve those goals more effectively.
“For eight months of the year, our biological clocks are out of alignment with what they’re supposed to be with the amount of light," she said referring to daylight saving time.
Manar has pointed to a study by a group of neurologists to support his claims for daylight saving time. The study, published earlier this month, showed evidence of how the biannual time change can hurt the developing brains of teenagers, and even increase the risk of stroke.
Either way, in order for Illinois' time change measure to take effect, Congress would have to either have to amend federal law about time changes altogether, or grant Illinois an exception allowing it to have a different clock setting than other states.
Sen. Dave Syverson (R, Rockford) said that could create a problem for residents that live near the borders of neighboring states, like Indiana or Missouri, that might travel to those states for services.
"Even [for] simple things like healthcare...what times would those appointments be at?" he wondered aloud.
Several other states have passed similar measures to make daylight saving time permanent, but none have been approved yet by Congress.