Daylight saving time is here, and allow us to issue a profound pronouncement on the subject.


We understand, of course, the desire to have longer days with more sunshine. But this springing forward of the spring brings with it problems aplenty. We experience the change as losing an hour, with loss of sleep and its attendant consequences.

As AAA noted, according to Topeka Capital-Journal reporter Phil Anderson, “the time shift can bring with it an increased chance for drowsy driving, as people will lose an hour of sleep as they set their clocks ahead by one hour … starting at 2 a.m. Sunday.”

In past years, the Kansas Legislature has considered bills that would end daylight saving time.

Back in 2016, Sen. Ty Masterson, R-Andover, talked about just such a bill. The agricultural considerations that once prompted the change no longer applied, he said. “Farmers now have headlights and climate-controlled cabs on farm equipment and electricity in outbuildings. Advances in smart technology have made the need for daylight saving time obsolete.”

This year, state Rep. Kristey Williams, R-Augusta, has taken up the cause, with a twist. She advocates for permanent daylight saving time. Back in January, we urged legislators to focus on more pressing matters, and that most certainly still applies.

But it’s worth noting that the practice has seldom been universally beloved. The idea was first proposed by Benjamin Franklin, in a 1784 essay titled "An Economical Project for Diminishing the Cost of Light.”

It was promptly forgotten until the 20th century, at which point it was revived during the world wars, to considerable public outcry. Congress didn’t pass the Uniform Time Act until 1966, and it still made daylight saving time optional for states (Arizona and Hawaii don’t observe it).

In other words, the time change isn’t a permanent fixture of our democracy, and we will likely see further attempts to end it in years to come. As we noted in January, there are practical concerns in terms of our relationship with nearby states; those living on the border with Missouri, for example, might see challenges.

But no one would deny that changing the time twice a year, for generally arbitrary reasons, is an annoyance. Perhaps the U.S. Congress could finally come together and make a change with widespread public approval — for once.