TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – As Floridians prepare to set their clocks back this weekend, Rep. Vern Buchanan is once again calling for a year-round Daylight Saving Time.
The congressman from Sarasota is continuing his quest to push the Sunshine Protection Act through Congress.
The bill was signed into Florida law in March of 2018, however, it can’t be put into effect until Congress passes legislation allowing a year-round Daylight Saving Time.
In a press release, Buchanan expressed the reasons behind the bill, which was initially introduced in 2018 by Marco Rubio to amend the Uniform Time Act of 1966.
“There are enormous health and economic benefits to making daylight saving time permanent,” Buchanan said in a statement. “Florida lawmakers have already voted to make daylight saving time permanent in my home state and Congress should pass the Sunshine Protection Act to move Florida and the rest of the country to year-round Daylight Saving Time.”
Research backs up those claims.
Studies from the last couple of decades show an increase in car accidents and heart attacks in the first few days following the “spring ahead” that occurs in March.
Research from JP Morgan Chase found that economic activity drops between 2.2.% and nearly 5% when we “fall back.”
Last month, U.S. Senators Rick Scott and Marco Rubio introduced a bill to prevent all Americans from gaining an additional hour in the fall.
The renewed efforts would also prevent Americans from turning clocks back in March 2021.
Daylight Saving Time lasts 238 days— more than half the year, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce. Though the concept was initially conceived in an essay by Benjamin Franklin in 1784, the Standard Time Act, which also established time zones, was enacted in 1918.
In the United States, Hawaii, many locations in Arizona and the territories of Puerto Rico, Guam, the Virgin Islands and American Samoa do not follow Daylight Saving Time.
Across the world, only 70 countries of the 195 that currently exist observe Daylight Saving Time.
The next Daylight Saving Time will begin on March 14, 2021.