COLUMBIA, S.C. (WSAV) — Back in 2020, Gov. Henry McMaster signed legislation that made daylight saving time permanent in South Carolina. However, South Carolinians still have to “spring forward” and “fall back.”
That’s because for daylight saving time to become year-round in the state, there needs to be an act from Congress.
Until then, the bi-annual time change stays in the Palmetto State.
Some say South Carolina’s golf industry could benefit from permanent daylight saving time. “I think it would be a great thing,” said South Carolina Golf Association Executive Director Biff Lathrop.
He said the golf industry had a big 2020. The number of rounds booked across the state increased by about 15%. Lathrop said if we didn’t fall back in November — the numbers could have even been higher.
When South Carolina “falls back” in the winter, golf courses and clubs lose about an hour and a half of tee times.
Lathrop said many in the industry are anxiously waiting for the day South Carolina can officially ditch the switch.
“I think golfers would think it’s a great thing,” he said. “It will put a little more work on staff at the clubs. But overall, for the game of golf, it will be great.”
Lathrop said in the long run, it could also mean more tax dollars for the state.
Some South Carolina lawmakers don’t want to wait around for Congress to act. Rep. Bill Chumley (R-District 35) said this is an issue he hears about a lot this time of year.
“Some are saying let’s do one or the other year-round, and the majority are saying Daylight Saving Time would be their preference,” he said.
Chumley said he believes year-round daylight saving time would cut down on traffic accidents and crime.
He filed a bill this session that takes a more proactive approach to the change. It would make daylight saving time permanent but would not require an act of Congress.
“We’re going to request the South Carolina Attorney General to request a waiver from the federal Department of Transportation,” Chumley explained.
Under federal law, the U.S. Transportation Secretary can grant a waiver to a state if the legislature requests it.
Chumley’s bill has been sent to the House Judiciary Committee.