Sean Cate
Sean Cate
March 15, 2019 ·  4 min read

Florida Passed A Bill to Keep Daylight Saving All Year

Daylight saving time (DST) is a sunlight conservation practice where the clocks are uniformly advanced to one hour ahead of the standard of the time in the summer, and back again in the fall [1]. In the United States, DST begins at 2:00 am on March 11 and ends on November 4. It’s a common practice in many places around the world, although changes vary from place to place.

When it comes to daylight saving, everyone knows the term  ‘spring forward and fallback’ [2]. Of course, this means you have to try and remember to set the clock an hour ahead in spring and an hour behind in the fall. Most modern day smart tech does this for us already, but we know that clock on the stove is begging to be changed, isn’t it? But, what if we no longer had to deal with that in the first place?

Well, the state of Florida is on the path to joining Hawaii and Arizona to eliminate these yearly changes in time. Hawaii and Arizona run standard time year round while Florida lawmakers just voted almost unanimously to keep DST all year-round. No more spring forward and no more fall back.

The Sunshine Protection Act

If you live in Florida, there’s a good chance you won’t ever have to set your clock back again.

In March 2018, The Sunshine Protection Act was signed by Governor Rick Scot, and the bill was sent to Congress for approval. Senate debates can often be dragged on for hours, days, weeks and even months. This one, however, didn’t even last two minutes. The lawmakers voted 33-2 for the Sunshine Protection Act to be sent to the governor for his seal. The law would allow the state of Florida to enjoy DST all year round.

The bill was sponsored by Senator Greg Steube, a Sarasota Republican. The idea first struck him when he visited his barber shop last fall. Speaking at the Senate community affairs committee meeting, he said, “One of the barbers had young children and it had such a negative impact every time they set their clocks back [that they had trouble] getting their kids up for school.”

As reported by Tampa Bay Times, he said a lot of people around the state, especially entrepreneurs believe more daylight time would boost tourism and business in the state [3].

“I’ve heard from mayors across the state that it’s going to save them money because they don’t have to light their softball fields at night,” he said. “I can’t tell you how many people have come up to me who have said even my high school age kid, it’s hard to get him up in the morning when we fall back the clocks.”

EDITOR’S NOTE: Florida Senate voted to approve The Sunshine Protection Act on February 14th, 2018, which was later signed by Gov. Rick Scott in March. However, it’s not official yet as Congress has yet to approve it [5]. It looks like Floridians may have to wait a little bit longer before they can enjoy this perk. Fingers Crossed!

Strong Public Support

Polls have been conducted on various social media and news platforms, and it’s apparent that the bill has massive support from the people. It’s all in the hands of the governor and Congress now.

This is the first great step to putting more sunshine in our lives,” said Rep Heather Fitzenhagen, R-Fort Myers, House sponsor of the bill. “How many times have you gotten home from work in the winter time and you’d like to throw the football, dip a line in, or go out to dinner with your spouse? This will give people the opportunity to have more quality time when it’s nicest in Florida.”

Rep. Jeannette Nunez, R-Miami, who also sponsored the bill at House level says this would reduce the crime rate in Florida, as less of it is generally committed during daylight hours.

There are cons though

Although people are supporting the polls, there are two sides to every coin. Florida is going to perpetually suffer dark mornings.

Instead of the sun rising at 7:00 am and setting at 5:30 pm, it will now rise at 8:00 and set at 6:30 pm.

Speaking to Miami Herald, American author David Prerau believes there’ll be major issues while adapting to this new change [4]. “Today, one of the biggest cons [of daylight saving time] remains sunrise as late as 8:30 a.m. in parts of Florida, which means it would be pitch dark for school kids and early commuters,” he said. “People do not like dark mornings and that’s the main reason daylight saving time has not been adopted year-round.”

Florida will also be in discordance with the rest of the East coast. This will affect nearly every inter-state activity, which includes business, transportation, news times, TV shows and radio shows, and virtually everything these states have in common. How this will work out? Time will tell.