March 12, 2021 -- At 2 a.m. Sunday, most of the United States will “spring forward” as daylight saving time starts. A group of senators has once again introduced legislation that would make DST permanent -- meaning nobody would “fall back” at 2 a.m. Nov. 7.
A synopsis of the Sunshine Protection Act of 2021 says permanent DST would benefit the nation’s health by reducing car crashes; lowering the risk of heart problems, stroke, and seasonal depression; and reducing childhood obesity. It would also cut the number of robberies, lower energy usage, and benefit the economy, the synopsis said.
U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, a Republican from Florida, is the lead sponsor. Florida voted to enact year-round DST in 2018, but that change can’t take place unless federal law is enacted, Rubio says in a news release.
“The call to end the antiquated practice of clock changing is gaining momentum throughout the nation,” the news release says. “Studies have shown many benefits of a year-round Daylight Saving Time, which is why the Florida legislature voted to make it permanent in 2018. I’m proud to reintroduce this bipartisan bill to make Daylight Saving Time permanent, and give our nation’s families more stability throughout the year.”
The release says 15 other states have passed similar legislation. The bill would not change time zones or force places that do not observe DST -- most of Arizona, Hawaii, American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands -- to do so.
According to The Hill, federal law only allows states to opt out of DST rather than opting into it permanently.
Rubio and other senators introduced a similar bill last year. The co-sponsors this year are Sens. Rick Scott (R-FL), James Lankford (R-OK.), Roy Blunt (R-MO.), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Ron Wyden (D-OR), Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-MS.), and Ed Markey (D-MA.)
Today, about 40% of countries worldwide use daylight saving time to make better use of daylight and to conserve energy, according to the website Time and Date.