Florida is looking to eliminate the twice yearly changing of the clocks that begin and end Daylight Saving Time. The state’s Senate passed a bill Tuesday evening called the “Sunshine Protection Act,” which would keep Daylight Saving Time year round. The bill was previously passed by the House and will head to the governor’s desk for approval.
Daylight Saving Time is when the clocks go forward an hour on the second Sunday in March every year. Florida wants to set the clocks ahead and then leave them there, year-round. This move essentially takes one hour of sunlight from the early morning and adds it to the end of the day, according to the National Institute of Standards and Technology.
The incentives for the Sunshine Protection Act include expected lower energy use in the evening hours and lower crime rates, as well as a boost in tourism for shops and attractions, the Times reported.
Adopting Daylight Saving Time year-round would put Florida an hour ahead of states in the same time zone that set the clocks back from November until March. It could potentially wreak havoc on travel and communication for several months of the year.
Florida isn’t the first state or territory to push back against the Uniform Time Act since Daylight Saving Time was introduced in 1966. Hawaii, Arizona and several U.S. territories including Guam, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands do not observe Daylight Saving Time, according to the NIST. Those locales don't observe Daylight Saving Time and operate instead on permanent standard time.
If approved, Florida would be making the opposite move those states and territories that have opted to stay on Standard Time made.
In order for Daylight Saving to become permanent in Florida, the law will need a signature from Governor Rick Scott. The state would then have to get approval from the U.S. Congress to make the change from Standard Time to Daylight Saving Time year round, the Tampa Bay Times reported.