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Springing Ahead

May 23, 1986

The U.S. Senate has finally seen the light and voted to start daylight-saving time three weeks earlier, on the first Sunday in April rather than the last. Spring is making only a tentative start in many Northern areas at that time of April, but much of the nation would appreciate an additional hour of daylight in the evening to enjoy the fresh blossoms and balmy breezes.

The House of Representatives has passed bills to expand daylight-saving time on several occasions, including the current session, but this is the first time that the more rural-dominated Senate has done so. Farm communities tend to object to the additional hour of darkness in the morning.

Now the House and the Senate must reconcile differences in their two bills. The House version also would tack an additional week onto the end of daylight time, having it end the first Sunday in November rather than the last Sunday in October. One benefit of the House provision would be an additional hour of light on Halloween, when young trick-or-treaters are roaming the streets.

Some senators are adamant that the extension be limited to April, so the House may have to yield on its fall return to standard time. But even the lesser change would be a welcome spring ahead.

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