An unscientific poll of people I know shows almost everyone hates the biannual time change in the US that subjects most Americans to one-hour shifts: backward in fall and forward in spring. As we approach the arrival of Daylight Saving Time on March 14, a bipartisan group of senators is proposing we stick with DST for all time.
Earlier this week, Republican Senator Marco Rubio of Florida announced he was leading a bipartisan group of senators in reintroducing the Sunshine Protection Act to make DST permanent across the US.
Florida has moved to go to year-round DST, but needs a change in the federal statute to make the shift. It’s not the only state that’s expressed a desire to stay on one time all year long. According to Rubio, 15 other states — including Arkansas, California and Oregon — have passed similar laws, resolutions or voter initiatives.
“The bill would simply negate the need for Americans to change their clocks twice a year,” the Rubio statement said. “Many studies have shown that making DST permanent could benefit the economy and the country.”
The argument against the time change is about more than just the inconvenience of resetting clocks. In 2020, theto more closely match the natural human sleep-wake cycle.
Despite a mixed history of adoption, DST has been in effect across most of the country since the mid-1960s. It originated as a way to extend usable daylight hours and save energy.
The Senate lawmakers behind the reintroduced act cited a list of potential benefits to year-long DST and the additional evening daylight, including a reduction in car accidents, reduced risk for cardiac issues and seasonal depression, and fewer robberies.
“Springing forward and falling back year after year only creates unnecessary confusion while harming Americans’ health and our economy,” said Democrat Senator Ron Wyden of Oregon, a co-sponsor of the bill. “Making Daylight Saving permanent would give folks an hour back of sunshine during the winter months when we need it most.”