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Florida Lawmakers Trying To Make Daylight Saving Time Permanent Nationwide

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Marco Verch/Flikr

Florida lawmakers introduced the Sunshine Protection Act to Congress this week. The legislation would make year-round Daylight Saving Time permanent across the country.

Congressman Vern Buchanan, Sen. Marco Rubio, Sen. Rick Scott, and Congressman Greg Steube, sponsored The Sunshine Protection Act to negate the need for Americans to change their clocks twice a year.

Daylight Saving Time would be in effect year-round instead of on the "spring forward, fall back" schedule that's existed since the Uniform Time Act passed in 1966.

This proposal is similar to the bill passed by Florida legislators last year, which was signed by then-Gov. Rick Scott. That change cannot be finalized without action by Congress to alter existing federal law. 

“Last year, Florida lawmakers were the first in the nation to vote to make Daylight Saving Time permanent in our home state,” Buchanan said in a press release. “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.”

Sen. Greg Steube (R-Sarasota) previously told WUSF the time changes are an unnecessary holdover from a bygone era.

"The reason why we as a country did the turning forward and back of the clocks, was in World War I to save fuel, which is why it was originally instituted,” Steube said. “Obviously we don't have those constraints now - it's been over 100 years. And there's a lot of people that don't like it."

Proponents claim permanent Daylight Saving Time could reduce car crashes and car accidents involving pedestrians; reduce risk for cardiac issues, stroke and seasonal depression; reduce the number of robberies by 27 percent; benefit the economy; reduce childhood obesity and increases physical fitness; benefit the agricultural economy; and reduce energy usage.

Critics say it would force students to walk to school and wait for buses in the dark.

Hawaii, most of Arizona, and a handful of U.S. territories — including American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands — do not observe Daylight Saving Time.

Daylight Saving Time goes into effect this Sunday, March 10, at 2 a.m. in Florida.