TAMPA, Fla. - The two U.S. Senators from Florida say the nation has endured so much in 2020 that we shouldn’t have to deal with changing our clocks this fall.
Senators Marco Rubio and Rick Scott on Wednesday announced fast-tracked legislation that would keep the U.S. on Daylight Saving Time through November of 2021, preventing the country from “falling back” in a few weeks. That would also prevent the “spring forward” time change in March of 2021 when the country typically returns to Daylight Saving Time.
The pair says it would provide “stability” for families amid the disruptions of COVID-19.
“Keeping the nation on Daylight Saving Time is just one small step we can take to help ease the burden,” Rubio said in a press release announcing the legislation. “More daylight in the after-school hours is critical to helping families and children endure this challenging school year.”
“After months of staying inside amid the coronavirus pandemic, families across the nation could use a little more sunshine and time to enjoy all that Florida has to offer,” Scott added.
It’s not the first time the topic has come up. When Rick Scott was the state’s governor, Florida’s legislature voted to enact year-round Daylight Saving Time – eliminating the biannual time changes permanently.
Such a move requires congressional approval because of the logistics involved, and Sen. Rubio’s ‘Sunshine Protection Act’ – which would make Daylight Saving Time permanent across the country – was never passed in Congress.
Photo by Leon Neal/Getty Images
Experts say permanent Daylight Saving Time makes the roads safer for drivers and pedestrians, reduces crime, lowers energy usage, and boosts the economy.
In July, the American Academy of Sleep and Medicine conducted a survey of 2,007 adults in the U.S. Sixty-three percent supported eliminating seasonal time changes and were in favor of a national, fixed, year-round time.
“Studies have shown many benefits of a year-round Daylight Saving Time, and while I believe we should make it permanent all year around, I urge my colleagues to — at the very least — work with me to avoid changing the clocks this fall,” Rubio added.