Politically polarized as we are, there's at least one phenomenon we can all bemoan together: dwindling happy hour sunlight. Look no further than the Sunshine Protection Act, a bipartisan call for the U.S. to make daylight saving time permanent and, as a result, our nights a bit less dim. Among the bill's cosponsors? Washington senator Patty Murray.
The Democrat spoke on the Senate floor yesterday in support of the legislation, just a few days before the country collectively turns its clock back an hour (Sunday at 2am, if you've forgotten or are in denial). "I don’t know a single person who loves to go through the trouble of figuring out whether their microwave or the oven has the hour right, or anyone who looks forward to the sun setting earlier and earlier every winter," Murray said. She's not wrong there. Seattleites have been fretting about The Big Dark since as early as July (!).
Beyond the inconvenience, Murray said studies have shown that more sunlight later in the day would likely lead to fewer car accidents and robberies, as well as boost economic activity and energy savings. She mentioned that it could lower seasonal depression and heart problems. But some worry that delayed morning light could actually exacerbate our SAD state.
If this feels like an old debate, that's because it is. Washington tried to settle it in 2019, adopting daylight saving time year-round. Eighteen other states have done the same. But without federal action, they're powerless to swerve from standard time. How many more turns of the dial will it take for that to change?