Here is the transcript of my testimony to the House State and Local Government Committee, which is considering a Joint Resolution.
Dear Chairman Wiggam,
Ranking member Kelly,
And members of the Ohio House State and Local Government Committee,
I am the leader of the international movement to #LockTheClock, also known as a guy and his blog.
For more than six years now I’ve been writing about this topic, but in the last couple of years the volume has turned way up, and I’ve now testified in a dozen states, been featured on the BBC, the New York Times and the Daily Show.
I’m very sorry I can’t be with you there today in person, and I look forward a post-Covid era when I can be there.
I could wax eloquently for hours about the evils of changing the clock twice a year. Just ask my wife, she’ll tell you this is true. But I’ve seen how this joint resolution sailed through the Ohio Senate, and I watched the sponsors introduce this bill and saw the positive overall reactions, so I don’t think there’s a need to do a lot of convincing.
Several questions did come up that I thought I might shed a bit more light on.
First was a question from Rep. Ginter, who first expressed huge support, and then asked: Why hasn’t this been done before?
The reason is this: Tied up in this issue are two questions.
1. Should we stop changing the clock twice a year.
2. What time zone should we land in.
The confusion about the second question is what ties up progress on the first.
That seems to be fading away now. When I first started blogging about this there was no action anywhere in the country. Then I put together a research page showing all the death, economic hardship and overall negative consequences that result from stealing an hour of sleep from the whole country one Sunday each Spring.
After that research started spreading, states started treating this like the serious public policy issue that it is, and not some quirky issue. We now have 15 states around the country that have passed something in the last two years. And federal bills have gotten more great bipartisan support than ever before.
As to the second question… That’s something that I think individual states should grapple with after the decision is made to Lock the Clock.
Rep. Becker brought up the temporary change that was made in 1974. That was a disaster. It was ordered by Pres. Nixon in the depths of Watergate, and instead of being planned for in advance it was put into place in January. Changing the clocks in the spring or fall is bad, changing the clocks in January is just torture. Congress got rid of that after one year. It was such a failed experiment that it is part of why we haven’t had a lot of progress on fixing this in the years since then. Now people in general are suggesting a much more phased in and science-based approach.
Rep. Wiggam brought up the fact that constituents really want to fix this, and he is exactly right about that. He also brought up studies about the health effects. Yes. There are a lot. Heart attacks, strokes, workplace accidents, traffic accidents, and just overall deaths climb in the days after the Spring Forward time change.
And thank you Rep. Wilkin for bringing some levity to the issue. There is a lot of that, and it’s why some of the best explanations of why we need to fix this are found in memes and funny videos. I collect those on my blog, and they are always the most popular pages I have each year.
This resolution is a great first step. The next step will be a bill. I’m happy to work with you in any ways that I can to help you take that next step in the coming months.
Yours very truly,