U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) released a video message ahead of this weekend’s end of Daylight Saving Time, which forces Americans to change their clocks twice a year in what he refers to as an antiquated practice.
Said Rubio, “We’re about to once again do this annual craziness of changing the clock, falling back, springing forward. We need to stop doing it. There is no justification for it. Let’s go to permanent Daylight Saving Time. The overwhelming majority of members of Congress approve and support it. Let's get it done. Let’s get it passed, so that we never have to do this stupid change again.”
In March 2021, Rubio led a bi-partisan effort with Senate colleagues from throughout the US in reintroducing the Sunshine Protection Act, legislation that would make Daylight Saving Time (DST) permanent across the country.
Senators James Lankford (R-OK), Roy Blunt (R-MO), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Ron Wyden (D-OR), Rick Scott (R-FL),Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-MS), Ed Markey (D-MA), Bill Hagerty (R-TN), James Inhofe (R-OK), Patty Murray (-D-WA), Alex Padilla (D-CA), Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), Martin Heinrich (D-NM), and Pat Toomey (R-PA) are cosponsors of the bill.
Congressman Vern Buchanan (R-FL) is the lead sponsor of the Sunshine Protection Act in the U.S. House of Representatives.
Rubio first introduced the legislation in the 115th Congress, and reflects the Florida legislature’s 2018 enactment of year-round DST; however, for Florida’s change to apply, a change in the federal statute is required.
Nineteen other states — Arkansas, Alabama, California, Delaware, Georgia, Idaho, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Mississippi, Montana, Ohio, Oregon, South Carolina, Tennessee, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming — have passed similar laws, resolutions or voter initiatives, and dozens more are looking.
The legislation, if enacted, would apply to those states who currently participate in DST, which 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.
Standard Time begins this Sunday, November 7, and lasts until Sunday, March 13, 2022.
Potential effects of making Daylight Saving Time permanent for the nation:
• Reduces car crashes and car accidents involving pedestrians: better aligning daylight hours to drivers’ standard work hours’ increases visibility, according to the American Journal of Public Health and the Journal of Safety Research. Also reduces the number of vehicle collisions with wildlife by 8 – 11 percent by shifting normal traffic patterns to an hour off from nocturnal wildlife’s behavior.
• Reduces risk for cardiac issues, stroke and seasonal depression.
• Reduces the number of robberies by 27 percent, according to a 2015 Brookings Institution because of additional daylight in the evenings.
• Benefits the economy, according to a study by JP Morgan Chase, which found that there is a drop in economic activity of 2.2 percent – 4.9 percent when clocks move back.
• 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, children see an increase in physical activity during DST. The Journal of Environmental Psychology found that DST increased pedestrian activity by 62% and cyclists activity by 38% because of additional daylight.
• Benefits the agricultural economy, which is disproportionately disrupted by biannual changes in time by upsetting the synergy between farmers’ schedules and their supply chain partners.
• Reduces energy usage, a 2008 study by the U.S. Department of Energy found that during the 4 weeks the U.S. extended daylight savings from the 2005 law, there were savings of about 0.5 percent in electricity per day. Later studies have also shown that the energy savings are minimal but a small savings does occur.