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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – A group of Florida lawmakers are tired of the Sunshine state springing forward and falling back every year. Senators Marco Rubio, Rick Scott and Representative Vern Buchanan have introduced legislation that would make Daylight Saving Time permanent, not only in Florida, but also across the country.
This is the second time Senator Rubio has introduced the Sunshine Protection Act, to Congress and in order for it to happen, a change in the federal statute is required.
The legislation, if enacted, would apply to those states who currently participate in Daylight Saving Time, which most states observe for eight months out of the year. Standard Time, from November to March, is only observed for four months out of the year. The bill would simply negate the need for Americans to change their clocks twice a year. Many studies have shown that making DST permanent could benefit the economy and the country. A one-pager of the bill is available here.
The bill’s filing comes as Americans plan to spring forward one hour Sunday morning when the time change begins at 2 a.m.
“Studies have shown many benefits of a year-round Daylight Saving Time, which is why Florida’s legislature overwhelmingly voted to make it permanent last year,” Rubio said. “Reflecting the will of the State of Florida, I’m proud to reintroduce this bill to also make Daylight Saving Time permanent nationally.”
“I was glad to sign legislation as Governor to continue Daylight Saving Time year-round for Floridians, and now join Senator Rubio to lead this effort in Congress,” Scott said. “The Sunshine Protection Act will allow Floridians and visitors to enjoy our beautiful state even later in the day, and will benefit Florida’s tourism industry, which just celebrated another record year.”
“Last year, Florida lawmakers were the first in the nation to vote to make Daylight Saving Time permanent in our home state. We should follow their lead at the national level to allow them to move forward with this change and ensure that Florida and the rest of the nation are on the same page year-round.” Representative Buchanan said.
Last year, the Florida legislature passed a bill that would allow Florida to stay in Daylight Saving Time year-round, however, the state cannot make the change without federal approval.
Rubio’s office cited the benefits of that extra evening sun, including reducing car crashes by aligning daylight hours to standard commuting hours. Reducing risk for cardiac issues, stroke and seasonal depression.
Reducing the number of robberies by 27 percent, according to a 2015 Brookings Institution study.
Rubio’s office also cited it benefits the economy, according to a study by JP Morgan Chase, and increased sunlight in the evening reduces childhood obesity and increases physical fitness, according to studies published by the International Journal Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity and the Journal of Physical Activity and Health.
There are also benefits to farmers and the agricultural economy and reduces energy waste, according to a 2008 study by the U.S. Department of Energy.