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Each year in the spring, Daylight Savings Time begins when we turn our clocks forward one hour. Daylight Savings Time ends in the fall when we turn our clocks back one hour.

This is in line with federal law which does not currently permit states to observe daylight saving time year-round.

Back in March, in a move promoted by supporters advocating brighter afternoons and more economic activity, - but opposed by national Jewish organizations - the U.S. Senate passed the federal Sunshine Protection Act that would change this and make daylight saving time permanent starting in 2023, ending the twice-annual changing of clocks. However, the bill stalled in the House of Representatives.

In the meantime, New Jersey lawmakers are now laying the groundwork to make daylight saving time permanent in the Garden State should the legislation pass at the federal level, FAA News has learned.

If this measure does pass, Garden State residents would no longer turn our clocks back one hour in the fall.

The Senate State Government, Wagering, Tourism & Historic Preservation Committee is scheduled to discuss this bill at their next session on Monday morning.

The bill (S946) is sponsored by Senate Democrat Shirley Turner.

"Over the intervening 101 years since the creation of daylight saving time, the residents and businesses of this State have become more accustomed to the eight months of daylight saving time each year than to the four months of standard time each year. The biannual change of time between Eastern Standard Time and Eastern Daylight Time is disruptive to commerce and to the daily schedules, safety, and health of the residents of this State", the bill says.

The bill also notes that remaining permanently on daylight saving time permits this State to avoid negative impacts of the shifts, such as the following:

     (1) a 2013 study published in The American Journal of Cardiology found that daylight saving time shifts have a substantial negative influence on the risk of heart attack; and

     (2) a 2016 study published in the American Economic Journal: Applied Economics found that the transition into daylight saving time caused over 30 deaths in fatal automobile crashes between 2002 and 2011 due to sleep deprivation.

Additionally, remaining permanently on daylight saving time permits this State to gain benefits, such as the following:

     (1) a 2004 study by Rutgers University into the effects of daylight saving time on pedestrian fatalities showed that full-year daylight saving time would reduce pedestrian fatalities by 171 per year and motor vehicle occupant fatalities by 195 per year; and

     (2) a 2010 study on the effects of daylight saving time on motor vehicle crashes showed that daylight saving time reduced crashes at dusk by providing better visibility for drivers.

When the U.S. Senate passed their version of the Act, Agudath Israel of America joined other segments of society in generally opposing these efforts.

"Our concerns revolved around two areas. First, as a representative of Orthodox Jewish schools, we shared the views of those in the school community who were concerned about children walking, carpooling or taking the bus to school in the pre-sunrise darkness and the increased risk of accidents and injuries that resulted. Indeed, during the Arab oil embargo in early 1970s, when a year-long DST was attempted (but was quickly ended due to public outcry), there were numerous reported incidents of children being injured and assaulted as they traveled to school in the pitch-black streets. Whatever benefit that might accrue due to extended DST pales in comparison to the cost in safety of our children.

"The second concern related to an unintended consequence the change in DST would have on a fundamental aspect of Jewish religious life – morning prayers. Under Jewish law, morning prayers, and the rituals associated with them, are regulated in time-specific ways and must be performed no earlier those certain specified times. Synagogue schedules accommodate those times. With a change in DST, and the later sunrise, the times for prayers and their accompanying rituals will be disrupted –which, in turn, will put into jeopardy their proper fulfillment, discourage synagogue attendance, and result in late arrival for work", stated the Agudah, who added that as the bill advances through the House of Representatives, they intend to "continue to express their concerns to the representatives in that chamber and make clear the negative consequences the change will have on the safety of our children and on our Jewish religious practice".

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