Ahh, spring time: The time of year in which we yearn for later light and warmer weather. And, if you’re in the south, when the green scourge of tree pollen begins to rain down on us like some Stephen King-esque plague.
But that’s beyond the point.
On Sunday, much of the nation will be springing forward, as we exit “standard” time and head into “daylight savings time”, pushing our clocks forward one arbitrary hour in the dead of night.
For many Americans, DST is much preferred to ST, as it provides more time in the evening, after work or dinner, in which outside activities can continue. It’s so popular, in fact, that several lawmakers are planning to keep it around full time.
Florida’s state legislature passed the Sunshine Protection Act in 2018 hoping to move themselves into DST. But like the 14 other states that have enacted legislation or passed a resolution in the last four years to make DST permanent, none can take effect without an act of the U.S. Congress.
So Florida took its case to Capitol Hill. Florida Sen. Marco Rubio first introduced the Sunshine Protection Act in 2018, which would move the entire country to permanent, year-round daylight saving time. Rubio has renewed his call multiple times since then, most recently on Tuesday: “The call to end the antiquated practice of clock changing is gaining momentum throughout the nation,” he said.
He cited multiple benefits to permanent DST including potentially fewer car accidents and easing seasonal depression.
He’s not the only one either.
The effort is supported by a bipartisan group of lawmakers, including Sen. Ed Markey of Massachusetts, who echoed Rubio in highlighting the potential benefits of extending DST. “Studies have found year-round Daylight Saving Time would improve public health, public safety, and mental health — especially important during this cold and dark COVID winter,” Markey said.
Those who oppose the switch often cite the fact that school-aged children would likely spend more time in the dark in the mornings on account of the switch, which could provide some enhanced danger.
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