What time should it be? Georgia lawmakers disagree

Technicians work on the clock tower of the historic former Fayette County Courthouse on the Square in Fayetteville in this file photo from 2015.
Technicians work on the clock tower of the historic former Fayette County Courthouse on the Square in Fayetteville in this file photo from 2015.

ATLANTA — The Georgia House of Representatives and state Senate are at loggerheads over how Georgians should tell time.

The House passed legislation last Friday calling for the Peach State to observe daylight saving time all year.

That followed action the Senate took the week before to put Georgia on standard time permanently.

by | Mar 7, 2021 | Capitol Beat News Service

The one thing both chambers agree on is that the state should stop switching from standard time to daylight every March and back again to standard each November.

“There are some really serious health and safety reasons for eliminating time change,” Rep. Wes Cantrell, R-Woodstock, told his House colleagues shortly before they voted 112-48 to put Georgia on daylight time all year. “Our bodies are meant to adjust slowly to differences in the amount of daylight as the Earth rotates.”

Cantrell cited studies showing an increase in pedestrians being hit by cars during the two weeks after standard time kicks in during the fall because it suddenly gets dark an hour earlier.

Immediately following “spring-forward” in March, heart attacks go up, medical errors increase and even prison sentences handed out by judges increase, all tied to sleep deprivation, he said.

“ ’Spring forward’ sounds a lot nicer than it is,” he said.

Cantrell argued that going on daylight time all year would be better than switching to standard time permanently.

“More sunlight in the evening is good for our health,” he said. “It’s good for the economy. People prefer to shop in the daylight.”

But Sen. Ben Watson, R-Savannah, sponsor of the Senate bill to switch to standard time, said observing daylight time during the winter would lead to dark mornings. The sun wouldn’t come up until almost 8:30 a.m. in December, prompting concerns for the safety of children going to school, he said.

The other advantage to Watson’s bill is that, if it passes and is signed into law by the governor, it could take effect with the next switch to standard time this November.

The House bill, on the other hand, could only move Georgia to daylight time permanently if Congress passes legislation giving states that option.

Watson’s bill includes a provision to make the switch from standard to daylight if and when federal lawmakers allow it. — Provided by Capitol Beat News Service



  1. Whether we lock-in the time or not, it feels like there needs to be some major coordination among states.

    If you’ve ever done a flight connection in PHX or tried to schedule conference calls with people whose time zones don’t change, it can be a major pain in the neck. Now imagine if half the states did their own thing; it would create frequent wrinkles and confusion.

    This would also be a major inconvenience for people who cross state lines often like in many of those tiny Northeast states where people drive (or take the train) over the border for work.

  2. Changing the time is ridiculous. Leave it standard time, not daylight savings time. The earth rotates the same speed, and revolves around the the at the same speed. Those rhings determine the amount of daylight we have. Period. Changing is to daylight savings time all the time would make us a joke in the eyes of the rest of the country and the whole world.

  3. Why are GA lawmakers acting like kindergarteners, waiting for permission from the federal government on this issue? Exactly who is legislating for GA — our own state senators and representatives, or folks from 49 other states in D.C.? Take a lesson from MO and other states who are reclaiming their state rights and passing their state’s legislation accordingly.

  4. I hope our lawmakers don’t make the mistake of partitioning GA two time zones.
    That the majority of Georgians live in the ATL metro area shouldn’t dictate to those further to the East what the ‘time’ should be.
    My solution: other than matching store hours and meetings with others I live by local Sun time. Don’t care if it’s 5pm or 6pm, if it’s dark I don’t mow the yard

    • They’re not talking about time zones. They’re talking about ending the idiotic practice of moving our clocks forward and back so that factory workers can have more natural light as they pluck chickens or operate looms. We would still be in the eastern time zone.