LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – A bill that would prepare Michigan to adopt permanent Daylight Saving Time has cleared committee in the State House.

When we move ahead an hour in spring, that’s the beginning of Daylight Saving Time each year. When we fall back an hour, we return to Standard Time. The system was originally used as a way to save fuel and power during wartime since it provided an extra hour of daylight in the evening. It was not created for the benefit of farmers.

More recently, DST has been supported by business groups, who believe the extra daylight in the evening encourages people to go out and spend money after work. As a result, despite federal law allowing states to give up DST, only two states have actually done so, those being Hawaii and Arizona.

States are not allowed to go on DST permanently, but more than a dozen already have laws in place to make that transition if allowed.

The proposal in Michigan would essentially move our state from Eastern Standard Time to Atlantic Time, putting us one hour ahead of the East Coast in fall and winter. Provisions in the law would prevent Michigan from making the switch unless most of our neighboring states did as well, preventing complicated timing issues at the state border.

The Michigan Farm Bureau and Michigan Golf Course Association have indicated support for a switch to full-time DST. The Michigan Academy of Sleep Medicine is opposed to the change, and the group Save Standard Time testified for the committee in opposition to the bill.

Click here to read the text of the bill, or click here to read the committee’s summary.