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Daylight Saving debate hits Michigan Senate

As Michiganders adjust to the “spring forward” daylight saving schedule that started on Sunday, some state lawmakers are working to put it to an end.

A bill introduced in the Michigan Senate would let voters decide in November whether the state should keep observing daylight saving time.

The state has been observing DST since voters approved the move in a 1972 referendum.

Senator Thomas Albert (R-Lowell) who is sponsoring the bill to put the question before voters again, said he doesn’t see a point to daylight saving time.

“Throughout the history, the primary justification of supporting daylight saving time has been to save energy. But what does the evidence show? How much energy are we saving? Good luck finding the answer to that question. At best, you will find mixed results,” Albert said in a floor speech the day his bill was introduced.

The bill faces an uphill battle. It’s been referred to the Senate Government Operations Committee, which has a reputation for being a legislative graveyard, where bills go to die.

The committee has only met one time since 2022.

Still, the idea of ending the clock setting back-and-forth has some support in principle, on both sides of the aisle.

Senator Jeff Irwin (D-Ann Arbor) weighed in following Albert’s speech, saying he doesn’t like daylight saving either.

But Irwin’s not sure there’s agreement on the issue. He said even among legislators who want to stop springing forward and falling back, there's debate about which year-round clock setting the state should adopt.

“I feel strongly that those of us who are arguing about permanent standard and permanent daylight time are preventing the progress we need to overcome those folks who want to stick with this silly clock setting dance that we do twice a year,” Irwin said.

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