Does permanent Daylight Saving Time make sense for Maryland?

To spring forward, or not to spring forward, that is the question. Whether ’tis nobler to pass permanent Daylight Saving Time legislation or fear the potential chaos and leave things be.

Thursday, Maryland State Sen. Justin Ready (R-Carroll Co.) argued the benefits of a bill aimed at helping the state “spring forward and stay there.”

Proponents say the merits of permanent Daylight Saving Time include having an extra hour of daylight, a safer evening rush hour thanks to the light, economic benefits, fewer heart attacks on the following Monday and an overall better quality of life.

“There isn’t really any reason for the switching back and forth,” Ready told the committee.

Basically, time change stinks, they argue, and just screws people up for minimal benefit.

Even President Donald Trump has weighed in.

Opponents say the bill does not address the impact it would have on kids and teens since school start times are already too early and harm adolescent sleep rhythms. They also say regular DST helps save energy.

But what about the potential catastrophic results if Maryland flies solo on the issue and there’s no nationwide change?

“I can only imagine the disaster that will ensue if this is approved. MDers will have to constantly adjust their clocks to accommodate to work schedules/activities in neighboring states,” one WTOP reader wrote in a Facebook thread.

On the other hand, maybe there would be extended happy hours?

Note: It’s not known yet when the bill will come up for a committee vote. But WTOP wanted to have some fun and theorize about the potential impact were the stars to align and it becomes law.

So, the big question at the heart of the matter: Is permanent Daylight Saving Time stupid?

Depends who you ask.

But does it make sense for Maryland?

The people pushing for permanent DST seem to be forgetting about something: winter.

Yes. You will gain an hour of daylight at the end of your workday, but those winter mornings are going to be rougher unless you really love driving in pitch blackness.

Two countries experimented with permanent Daylight Saving Time: the UK and Russia. Both bailed on it after complaints about sunrise times during the winter months.

And as multiple WTOP readers pointed out in the Facebook thread linked above, imagine the insanity of Marylanders operating on permanent DST when the District, Virginia and Pennsylvania do not.

What the heck time would you need to wake up to get to work?

“No! Needs to be nationwide……too difficult if live in Maryland and work in DC or Virginia… about a strain! It just won’t work!” another reader wrote.

And it’s hard to disagree.

At the end of the day, Maryland can’t make Daylight Saving Time permanent without a change to federal law.

As the law stands, a state can decide not to observe Daylight Saving Time, but it cannot choose to make Daylight Saving Time permanent, a legislative analysis found.

If the federal law is changed by Congress before Dec. 31, 2025, the time change will take effect on the second Sunday in March or the first Sunday in November after the change takes effect, whichever happens first.

If the federal law isn’t changed by then, the bill goes out of effect.

States that have all passed permanent Daylight Saving Time bills include Florida, Washington, California and Oregon.

As it stands, the most states can do is opt out of Daylight Saving Time (Hawaii and Arizona opt out) but they can’t ignore Standard Time, where the time on your clock is determined by your time zone.

Also: Yes, you’re technically correct when you tell someone it’s “Daylight Saving Time” and not “Daylight Savings Time” but on the other hand, nobody likes a smartass. So hush.

WTOP’s Rick Massimo contributed to this report.

Will Vitka

William Vitka is a Digital Writer/Editor for He's been in the news industry for over a decade. Before joining WTOP, he worked for CBS News, Stuff Magazine, The New York Post and wrote a variety of books—about a dozen of them, with more to come.

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