Illinois could be next state to do away with daylight saving time thanks to help from high school students

Chicago News USA

CHICAGO — The Illinois State Senate passed a bill Tuesday that could make daylight saving time permanent in the state.

The bill was brought to attention by a group of Carlinville High School seniors.

Last year, Logan Ridenour, a former civics and government teacher at Carlinville High School, assigned a class project to his students. For their project, a group of seniors decided they were going to convince their teacher that not observing daylight saving time in Illinois was a good idea.

“I was the first person they convinced,” he said. “After that they took off with it and have been able to accomplish a great deal.”

The boys worked hard, sold the idea to their civics teacher, then had to sell it to their local state senator — which required a little pushing, but it paid off.

On Tuesday, the vote went to the state senate, on the floor there were 44 yeses and only 2 nays.

“Originally when we came up with the idea, I don’t really know how far it’s going to go because we are small town, Carlinville,” Tucker Green, a high school graduate said. “Once we talked to Andy Manar and testified in front of the Senate, that’s when I realized it could really go somewhere.”

State Sen. Andy Manar has been convinced that the daylight saving time ritual is nothing more than arbitrary. He said he is more than proud of the students.

“For engaging the governmental process, engaging an elected official, and setting the Senate into motion to act and ask questions about the arbitrary nature of time change. That’s what they set out to do and today, the Illinois Senate agreed with them,” he said.

Manar wasn’t the only one proud this day, the boys’ teacher, taking no credit, just sharing his joy and watching this group set a goal and accomplish it.

“It makes me happy. This is what education is all about,” he said. “And this is what being an educator is all about: encouraging kids and giving them the things they need to succeed and, not just getting a project passed, but also in life.”

While Ridenour thinks the bill has a good shot in the house, currently Hawaii and Arizona are the only states that don’t observe daylight saving time.

Last year, Florida lawmakers passed a bill that would allow the state to stay in daylight saving time year round. In Illinois, it requires federal approval.

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