On Tuesday, a bipartisan collection of senators introduced a bill to make Daylight Saving Time permanent, a move that would allow Americans to stop changing their clocks twice a year.
This weekend, Americans will “spring forward” and adjust clocks one hour ahead to comply with the Daylight Saving Time method that has become a regular part of Americans’ lives. The change lasts from Sunday, March 14, and goes until Sunday, November 7.
The piece of legislation is called the “Sunshine Protection Act,” and was put forward by U.S. Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL), James Lankford (R-OK), Roy Blunt (R-MO), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Ron Wyden (D-OR), Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-MS), Rick Scott (R-FL) and Ed Markey (D-MA).
According to a press release from Rubio, Florida already passed a measure in 2018 that would allow the state to keep Daylight Saving Time, however, a federal law is still needed in order for the Sunshine State to hold onto the change.
“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.”
Fifteen additional states have passed similar legislation, resolutions, or voter initiatives, including Arkansas, Alabama, California, Delaware, Georgia, Idaho, Louisiana, Maine, Ohio, Oregon, South Carolina, Tennessee, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming. The press release adds that dozens more states are looking at it, as well.
Lankford explained the history of the enactment of Daylight Saving Time in his support of the bill, saying, “In a year that feels like it’s been in complete darkness, Senator Rubio and I have provided a solution to provide more sunlight by making Daylight Saving Time permanent…I don’t know a parent of a young child that would oppose getting rid of springing forward or falling back. Congress created Daylight Saving decades ago as a wartime effort, now it is well past time to lock the clock and end this experiment.”
Whitehouse concurred, adding, “Americans’ lifestyles are very different than they were when Daylight Saving Time began more than a century ago…Making Daylight Saving Time permanent will end the biannual disruptions to daily life and give families more daylight hours to enjoy after work and school.”
A fact sheet provided by Rubio’s office explains the details of the bill, stating that it does not change any time zones, alter the number of hours of sunlight, or make the states and territories that do not already practice it adhere to Daylight Saving Time.
According to the fact sheet, Daylight Saving Time was created in the United States after Germany attempted to conserve fuel in 1916 during World War I. It originally only lasted for six months, but in 2005, Congress expanded the period to eight months of Daylight Saving Time and four months of standard time.
There are advantages to keeping Daylight Saving Time all year, as detailed by Rubio’s fact sheet. The increase in sunlight can provide better visibility for drivers, lowers the risk for some health issues, can help improve the economy, and more.
If the bill is successful, many Americans would change their clocks this coming Sunday for the last time.
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