Florida Senators reintroduce bill to keep Daylight Saving Time year-round

Daylight Saving Time begins at 2 a.m. on Sunday, March 14, 2021 when you'll once again have to set your clock forward one hour. But Florida Senators Marco Rubio and Rick Scott, along with six other United States senators reintroduced the Sunshine Protection Act on Tuesday in an effort to make Daylight Saving Time (DST) permanent.

"The call to end the antiquated practice of clock changing is gaining momentum throughout the nation," Rubio said. "Studies have shown many benefits of a year-round Daylight Saving Time, which is why the Florida legislature voted to make it permanent in 2018. I’m proud to reintroduce this bipartisan bill to make Daylight Saving Time permanent, and give our nation’s families more stability throughout the year."

Sen. Scott said: "As Governor of Florida, I was proud to sign legislation to make Daylight Saving Time permanent and I am continuing this effort in the Senate with my colleague, Senator Rubio. Americans could use a little more sunshine after a long winter and an entire year of staying indoors amid the coronavirus pandemic. As our state works to fully reopen and bring visitors back safely, this legislation will give families more time to enjoy all that Florida has to offer."

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Some of the benefits that senators list to year-round Daylight Saving Time include:

  • Reduces car crashes and accidents involving pedestrians
  • Reduces risk for cardiac issues, stroke, and seasonal depression
  • Reduces the number of robberies by 27 percent
  • Benefits the economy 
  • Reduces childhood obesity and increases physical fitness
  • Benefits the agricultural economy
  • Reduces energy usage

According to the U.S. Department of Commerce, Daylight Saving Time lasts 238 days -- or about 65 percent of the year. The time change was formally introduced to the United States in 1918. Most of the country follows daylight saving time, but Hawaii, American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands and the state of Arizona (with the exception of the Navajo Indian Reservation) does not.

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Rubio has reintroduced the 'Sunshine Protection Act' before. However, the change will not apply until there is a change in the federal statute. 

Eleven other states — Delaware, Louisiana, Maine, Oregon, South Carolina, Tennessee, Utah, Washington, Arkansas, Alabama, and Wyoming — have passed similar laws.

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