LAKEWOOD RANCH, Fla. (WFLA) — Congressman Vern Buchanan introduced the “Sunshine Protection Act” last week. The bill, if passed, would make daylight saving time permanent.

Last year, the bill unanimously passed through the Senate, but former Speaker Nancy Pelosi never brought it to a vote. Rep. Buchanan believes with the changes we’ve seen in the House of Representatives and the momentum the measure saw in the Senate last year, the bill has a good chance of making it to the president’s desk in 2023.

“The idea is to get a full year of daylight saving time. In 2018, Florida’s legislature, passed this and were the first in the nation to pass this sunshine protection law, but to make it permanent, we’ve got to work with Congress,” said Rep. Buchanan during a press conference Tuesday morning in Lakewood Ranch.

The congressman said the change would help boost tourism and businesses, improve health among children and adults, and cut down on crime.

“This is the right thing, especially for Florida, but I think for a lot of states. There are probably some states where there are some questions about it, but in Florida to me, it is a no-brainer to especially because we are the largest tourist state,” said Congressman Buchanan.

Dr. Jennifer Bencie with the Florida Dept. of Health in Manatee County said she supports the change.

“Research has shown significant health benefits of extending daylight saving time for the entire year. An extra hour of light at the end of the day could help tackle obesity, diabetes, reducing stress, blood pressure, the risk of heart disease and stroke,” said Dr. Bencie.

Business owners in Lakewood Ranch also showed support of the permanent change to keep the sun shining later into the evening.

“Wholeheartedly, I think it is going to just help with especially people who work late with their kids and all that to give us more time to be outside and enjoy the community with daylight. I just think overall it is just a positive. I think it should have been done along time ago, but I am happy to see that Vern is trying to push it through. It is something that is really needed,” said owner of Adolfo’s Italian Market and Pizzeria Gary Blake.

Not everyone is on board with the proposed change. Parents we spoke with expressed safety concerns with the change, saying students would be forced to walk to their bus stops or to school in the dark.

Daniel Nguyen, who works in construction, says the change would make his work days longer.

“If the sun doesn’t come up until later, we can’t start working and now we are not getting off until later,” said Nguyen.

Sen. Marco Rubio introduced the companion bill in the Senate.

Rep. Buchanan told 8 On Your Side he hopes to get the change passed during this session.