TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — The U.S. Senate unanimously approved a bill on Tuesday to make daylight saving time permanent in the United States, moving the legislation forward.
The Sunshine Protection Act — sponsored by Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla. — would allow Americans to stay in a full year of daylight saving time rather than having change their clocks in March and November.
Rubio called for the bill’s passage in a video message Monday, saying that it has taken too long to put the measure into action.
“Twenty states and a huge majority of Americans want to stay in daylight saving time all year round, and we now have bipartisan and bicameral support to do just that,” he said.
According to Rubio, daylight saving time was first enacted in 1916 to save fuel during World War I for a period of six months. Congress extended the period to eight months in 2005.
In 2018, Florida legislators passed a bill for the enactment of a full year of daylight saving time, but the bill required a change in federal law to take effect.
The bill would not change time zones, nor would it require states and territories that do not observe daylight saving time to spring forward.
This would include, American Samoa, most of Arizona, Guam, Hawaii, the Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.
Rubio previously said enacting permanent daylight saving time could reduce crime, conserve energy use, and improve citizens’ health — among other benefits.
The Sunshine Protection act must now go before the U.S. House of Representatives for approval.
Sunday and Kimberly Padonu aren’t fans of changing their clocks twice a year. They don’t like when it gets dark early.
“You feel as if it’s time to go to bed and sometimes we’re still at work at 4:30, 5:00,” Padonu said.
They’re all in for Daylight Saving Time all the time.
“I would prefer it stay the way it is now, where it gets darker later,” Padonu said.
A 2021 Economist-YouGov Poll found 63 percent of Americans want to eliminate the changing of the clocks, but there’s still 16% who feel the opposite.
Addison Hawes feels differently about Daylight Saving Time than her mom does. The 10-year-old says she gets more motivated for school when it’s bright out in the morning.
“I don’t like when it’s dark in the mornings and I have to go to school,” Hawes said. “I just want to be active when it’s bright and I get lazy when it’s dark.”
The CDC says deadly car accidents increase by six percent when we switch to Daylight Saving Time. The Sunshine Protection Act would make it permanent starting in 2023.