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Florida still preparing to ‘spring ahead’ years after agreeing to make daylight saving time permanent

By The Numbers

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – It’s something everyone grumbles and groans about every spring. Many Floridians were looking forward to ending it. But even with legislation in place, we’re still “springing ahead” on March 8.

It’s been almost two years since state legislators approved the Sunshine Protection Act. It was approved in 2018 but now, in 2020, Florida residents are still preparing to turn the clocks ahead in the coming weeks.

That’s because the law aiming for permanent year-round daylight saving time can’t be enacted without congressional approval. It’s something that Sen. Marco Rubio and Rep. Vern Buchanan tried to get multiple times, filing bills for Congressional consideration in 2018 and 2019.

“On March 8, we have to spring our clocks forward again and I hope it’s the last time we have to do it,” Sen. Rubio said in a statement to WFLA. “It’s time for Congress to pass my Sunshine Protection Act to make daylight saving time permanent so we can stop this silly, outdated practice of changing our clocks twice a year.”

If the bill receives the required congressional approval, it would become the third state to do so. Two other states and multiple other U.S. territories – Arizona, Hawaii, American Samoa, Guam, Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands – don’t observe daylight saving at all. Meanwhile, 21 states have similar bills pending.

The idea of daylight saving time was initially introduced by Benjamin Franklin in his 1784 essay called “An Economical Project.” The modern version of it, however, wasn’t used as widely as it is today until the end of World War I, in hopes that people would spend more time outside and less time inside using electricity.

It became law in 1966 under the Uniform Time Act.

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