The notion that there should be more sunlight is one of the few things that still gets strong bipartisan support, and there’s good reason why. As Congress once again considers a measure, cosponsored and long championed by Senator Ed Markey, to make daylight saving time permanent, Beacon Hill lawmakers should signal that the Bay State is ready to spring forward for good.
The ritual of changing clocks twice each year isn’t just disruptive and annoying, but also costly and dangerous. It causes workplace injuries to rise and workplace productivity to drop. The economic toll from the biannual disruption of workers’ sleep schedules is estimated to be upward of $433 million each year.
It’s also unhealthy. Studies show the change in time increases the risks of being in a fatal car crash, having a heart attack, and suffering from depression. The Sunlight Protection Act would mean a brighter day.
Markey is among a list of cosponsors that span the ideological spectrum in a way that is very rare these days, including Republicans Marco Rubio of Florida and Tommy Tuberville of Alabama, and Democrats Alex Padilla of California and Ron Wyden of Oregon, to name a few. It’s likely to sail through the Senate. Last session the House declined to even take it up. This time it should, and given the broad national support for ending the ritual of going back and forth in time, it should have a clear path to the president’s desk.
The federal bill would also allow states to opt out and remain on standard time year-round. This option is being considered in states like Michigan, where it would make sense. Its position at the far western end of the Eastern Time Zone pushes early summer dusks past 10 p.m. in Grand Rapids.
But in Massachusetts, where sunrises and sunsets come much earlier, it makes more sense to permanently keep the additional evening daylight in June than for dawn to break before 4 a.m., when most Bostonians are still in bed.
Therefore, lawmakers in the State House should join the 20 states that have already passed legislation, resolutions, or ballot initiatives to make daylight saving time permanent as soon as the bill passes in Congress. Those states include Idaho, Louisiana, Ohio, Utah, Delaware, and Maine.
When we all change our clocks this weekend, and lament the loss of an hour’s sleep, let it serve as a reminder that there is a better way and encourage lawmakers in Washington and Beacon Hill to see the light.
Editorials represent the views of the Boston Globe Editorial Board. Follow us @GlobeOpinion.