Permanent daylight saving time for Florida delayed by federal inaction

Florida

(Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — The latest end of daylight saving time is Sunday morning, but the sun continues to set on legislative efforts to stop the clock.

In 2018, Florida’s state legislature passed HB 1013 with broadly bipartisan support in an effort to make daylight saving time permanent. The so-called Sunshine Protection Act passed three years ago was written to declare the Sunshine State’s goal of sticking to DST, but with how it was written, the clock continues to be reset each year.

So, if the majority of the state wants to stay on DST, what’s stopping it from happening?

The short answer is the lack of a federal approval.

For Florida’s version of the Sunshine Protection Act, the law only signaled the state’s intent to be on DST permanently. However, the way HB 1013 was written makes it so that change can only happen if a bigger, federal version of the Sunshine Protection Act is passed and signed into law.

That effort has stalled since 2018.

Florida U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan has introduced legislation in the U.S. House of Representatives to make this change permanent across the U.S. every year since 2018. Sen. Marco Rubio, also of Florida, has also sponsored the legislation in the U.S. Senate.

Each year, despite more than a dozen co-sponsors in both chambers of Congress, the bill has died in committee.

This year’s version, the Sunshine Protection Act of 2021, was proposed by Buchanan in January. Rubio put his own version forward to match it in March. Both are still waiting further action.

Now approaching the end of 2021, neither version of the bill has moved past the introduction phase, according to logs from Congress.

For now, it appears history repeats itself and the process of setting back the clocks is here to stay, even though Florida is ready for change.

Daylight saving time ends on Nov. 7 at 2 a.m. this year.

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