Manar and Carlinville students DST bill 650

CARLINVILLE – Based on a recommendation from a group of Carlinville High School seniors, State Senator Andy Manar is sponsoring legislation to make daylight saving time the year-round standard in Illinois.

Senate Bill 533 would eliminate the statewide practice of moving clocks ahead by an hour on the second Sunday of March every year.

The legislation was spurred by a group of Carlinville High School seniors who put together a civics action plan for their civics class and chose to ask lawmakers to eliminate the time change in Illinois. They sought a meeting with Manar (D-Bunker Hill) and made their case to him directly.

“After their presentation, during which I peppered them with numerous questions, I committed to them that I would introduce legislation in the Illinois Senate to make daylight saving time the standard, year-round time in Illinois,” Manar said. “I was impressed with the very strong case they presented, and their proposal deserves a debate in Springfield.”

The students – Andrew DeNeve, Tyler Behme, Travis Osborn, Tristen Burns and Tucker Green – agreed to present their research before a Senate committee when the legislation advances in Springfield.
DeNeve, 18, of Carlinville said he personally finds the switch between daylight saving and standard time to be an annoyance and a distraction. He proposed the idea to his civics group, and the students agreed it would be a good issue to pursue.

“Spring forward especially is annoying because everybody loses an hour of sleep, and it just leads to an unproductive week overall at school,” DeNeve said.

Logan Ridenour has been teaching civics for seven years at Carlinville, which has been recognized by the McCormick Foundation as an Illinois Democracy School.

All seniors are required to take his course and complete a civics action plan. They must pick an issue for which they want to advocate, write up a proposal, then dig into the policy and figure out who they need to meet with to make their case and effect change. They also have to run a public relations campaign for their issue on Twitter and record a public service announcement.

Ridenour said that while he encourages students to pick an issue with a local focus, the students in DeNeve’s group chose a topic with statewide interest.

“They surpassed all expectations,” he said. “These are good, dedicated kids with varied backgrounds and future plans, and they were able to sit down and work through it and get it all hammered out. That’s part of being a member of an active citizenry. You have to know the avenues. If I see something I don’t like and I want to make a change, how do I go about it?”

DeNeve, who will attend Princeton University after graduation later this month, said the project has helped him learn a lot about being an engaged citizen.

“Honestly, none of us thought this would get very far, so we were excited with Senator Manar said he would author a bill. We kind of expected a rejection there,” DeNeve said. “It’s been exciting for us and it’s taught us that our elected officials are there represent us and that citizens play a crucial part in our lawmaking process by coming up with the ideas. I think it worked better than I expected it to.”

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