- Associated Press - Friday, March 3, 2017

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) - Eliminating daylight saving time in Nebraska would help families and farmers and prevent health problems, a state senator told a legislative committee Friday.

A bill sponsored by Sen. Lydia Brasch, of Bancroft, would keep Nebraska on central or mountain standard time throughout the year. If it passes, Nebraska would join Hawaii and most of Arizona in not setting clocks back an hour.

“During my six-plus years in the Legislature, many individuals have expressed to me their desire to see daylight saving time abolished or at the very least seriously debated,” Brasch said. “Daylight saving time, though a luxury for some, presents problems for others.”

Lincoln City Councilman Roy Christensen, a father of seven, said neither small children nor animals know how to adjust to daylight saving time.

“Once a year, the animals get up at 4:30 in the morning and want to be fed,” he said. “Animals don’t get it.”

Daylight saving time has been connected to health problems including an increased risk of heart attacks and sleep-related accidents, Brasch said. A 2008 study published in the New England Journal of Medicine that looked at 20 years of Swedish hospital records found heart attacks increased in the few days following the spring change and fell in the fall.

Isaac Faucett, a Grand Island teenager with epilepsy, said many of his grand mal seizures have come from losing sleep in the week after the spring change.

“I have to be careful around daylight saving or other times that would affect my condition,” he said.

His stepmother, Becky Faucett, has narcolepsy. She said medication and sticking to a routine help her lead a regular life, but daylight saving time makes her schedule difficult.

“It takes me weeks to return to feeling like a healthy, productive member of society,” she said.

Lincoln resident Gwendolen Hines said she struggles with springing forward, but enjoys the extra light in the summer. She suggested the state permanently adopt daylight saving time instead, but federal law does not allow that.

“It would make people happier,” Hines said. “People like sunlight, people like daylight, and we like to be out until 9 o’clock in the summer.”

Eliminating daylight saving time could cost Nebraska golf courses hundreds of thousands of dollars a year, said David Honnens of the Nebraska Golf Alliance. Many of the state’s 286 golf courses rely on golfers who play between 4 p.m. and sundown, he said.

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Follow Julia Shumway on Twitter at https://twitter.com/JMShumway


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