Buchanan, Rubio Introduce Bill to Make Daylight Saving Time Permanent
WASHINGTON — Congressman Vern Buchanan (R-FL) and Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) today introduced the Sunshine Protection Act, legislation that would make Daylight Saving Time (DST) permanent across the country. This is the second Congress that Buchanan and Rubio have introduced the measure and is reflective of the Florida legislature’s 2018 enactment of year-round DST. However, for this to apply, a change in the federal statute is required.
Joining Buchanan and Rubio were Senator Rick Scott (R-FL) and Congressman Greg Steube (R-FL).
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. A one-pager of the bill is available here.
Daylight Saving Time begins this Sunday, March 10, and lasts until Sunday, November 3.
“Last year, Florida lawmakers were the first in the nation to vote to make Daylight Saving Time permanent in our home state,” Buchanan said. “We should follow their lead at the national level to allow them to move forward with this change and ensure that Florida and the rest of the nation are on the same page year-round.”
“Studies have shown many benefits of a year-round Daylight Saving Time, which is why Florida’s legislature overwhelmingly voted to make it permanent last year,” Rubio said. “Reflecting the will of the State of Florida, I’m proud to reintroduce this bill to also make Daylight Saving Time permanent nationally.”
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.