The U.S. Senate unanimously passed the Sunshine Protection Act, a federal bill sponsored by state Senator Marco Rubio, which seeks to make Daylight Savings a permanent change across the nation in 2023.
Rubio has long been a proponent of ditching the biannual time change, claiming that it would promote further economic activity and increase levels of beach tourism throughout his home state of Florida.
According to a study by JP Morgan Chase, there is a drop in economic activity of 2.2 to 4.9 percent drop in economic stimulus when we lose an hour. The change would also benefit Florida’s key agricultural sector, which is disproportionately disrupted by upsetting the synergy between farmers’ schedules and their supply chain partners.
“Just this past weekend we went through that biannual ritual of changing the clock back and forth, and the disruption that comes with it, and one has to ask themselves why we keep doing this,” said Rubio. “I think the majority of the American people prefer to stop the back and forth changing, but beyond that … there’s reduced crime as there’s more light later in the day.”
Following input from industries that rely on set times far in advance, like broadcasting and aviation companies, Rubio stated that the change would take place until November of 2023.
“I know this is not the most important issue confronting America, but it’s one of those issues where there’s a lot of agreement,” Rubio said. “If we can get this passed, we don’t have to do this stupidity anymore.”
Florida notably voted to abolish the time change in 2018, though the state is still subject to the twice-a-year clock changes like the rest of most of the country. While Floridians are asking why the measure still isn’t active, the answer lies in the power of Congressional power. Congress oversees time and must approve Florida to finally have the ability to enact what they voted to change, which hasn’t happened yet.
American Daylight Savings originally started in order to conserve energy during the first World War, and become standardized in the 1960s, according to Timeanddate, the self-proclaimed number one site for time and timezones. The idea was predicated on the notion that in the summer months we would be more prone to spend less time with the lights on in our homes at night, saving electricity.
The bill now heads to the desk of President Biden to sign into law, though he has not given any indication of his support, or lack thereof, for the measure.