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Your Turn: Should Florida Make Daylight Saving Time Permanent?

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In 2019, Florida lawmakers passed the Sunshine Protection Act, to make Daylight Saving Time permanent year-round. But the law requires a federal statute to take effect.

Daylight Saving Time may feel like it’s always been a part of our lives, but it really didn’t come into general use in the United States until near the end of World War I.

Some U.S. states, including Florida, are now trying to end the habit of changing the clocks in favor of Daylight Saving Time, all the time.

In 2019, state lawmakers passed the Sunshine Protection Act, to make Daylight Saving Time permanent year-round in Florida. But the law requires a federal statute to take effect.

U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio and Rep. Vern Buchanan have sponsored bills in the Congress to help that along. This is the second Congress in which they have done so.

While the legislation continues to garner support from both sides, it must be passed by Dec. 31 to take effect. Otherwise, it will have to be introduced into the next Congress for approval.

Advocates for Daylight Saving Time say more daylight makes it safer for pedestrians, cuts down the risk for stroke, cardiac issues and depression that extended periods of darkness bring on, and boosts the economy.

According to a news release from the office of Rep. Vern Buchanan:

“The legislation, if enacted, would apply to those states who currently participate in DST, 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.”

Backers of the bill say it will not “mandate those who do not currently observe DST to do so.”  That includes the following states and U.S. Territories: American Samoa, most of Arizona, Guam, Hawaii, Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.