TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Four years ago, the Florida Legislature passed HB 1013 with broadly bipartisan support in an effort to make daylight saving time permanent. Now in 2022 and two weeks away from daylight saving time starting again, the law is no closer to taking effect.
The reason? Lack of federal action, from both chambers of U.S. Congress and both political parties.
Florida’s version of the bill is entirely contingent on a federal version passing first. In that respect, the proposed change is stuck in time.
The legislative effort to permanently have daylight saving time has been led by two federal lawmakers from Florida, Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., and Rep. Vern Buchanan, R-Sarasota. Both versions of the bill, introduced by the two, have failed to clear legislative hurdles in the federal legislature, year after year.
The lack of progress is the same, even with a dozen co-sponsors in both chambers, and public pleas to move the bills forward from colleagues in both chambers.
While the Rubio version of the Sunshine Protection Act has gotten through a second reading in committee, the Buchanan version has yet to inch past the introduction phase.
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.
Every year, despite more than a dozen co-sponsors in each chamber of Congress, the bills die in committee. It appears that is likely to happen again.
Daylight saving time starts March 13 at 2 a.m. this year.