|You might favor this bill if:
► You believe that America should make Daylight Savings Time permanent across the country. Several studies confirm that Daylight Savings Time can help reduce car accidents, seasonal depression, childhood obesity and benefit the U.S. economy.
|You might oppose this bill if:
► You believe that the current Daylight Savings Time observed should be kept in place. We should continue to have eight months of Daylight Savings time and four months of Standard Time.
The Sunshine Protection Act would make Daylight Saving Time (DST) permanent across the country.
The legislation, if enacted, would apply to those states who currently participate in DST, which most states observe for eight months out of the year. Standard Time, from November to March, is only observed for four months out of the year. Daylight Saving Time began Sunday, March 10, and lasts until Sunday, November 3.
DST was originally enacted in the U.S. following Germany’s 1916 effort to conserve fuel during World War I and its period of observance has since been lengthened. In 2005, Congress extended DST to begin the second Sunday in March and end the first Sunday in November. As a result, the U.S. now enjoys 8 months of DST, and only four months of standard time (November-March).
The bill would simply negate the need for Americans to change their clocks twice a year. Many studies have shown that making DST permanent could benefit the economy and the country.
“Studies have shown many benefits of a year-round Daylight Saving Time, which is why Florida’s legislature overwhelmingly voted to make it permanent last year,” Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) said. “Reflecting the will of the State of Florida, I’m proud to reintroduce this bill to also make Daylight Saving Time permanent nationally.”
The legislation does not alter or change time zones, change the amount of hors of sunlight, nor does it mandate those states who do not currently observe DST to do so (American Samoa, most of Arizona, Guam, Hawaii, Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands).
According to Sen. Rubio's press release on the legislation, DST has the potential to help with the following:
- Reduce car crashes and car accidents involving pedestrians: better aligning daylight hours to drivers’ standard work hours’ increases visibility, according to the American Journal of Public Health and the Journal of Safety Research.
- Reduce risk for cardiac issues, stroke and seasonal depression.
- Reduce the number of robberies by 27 percent: according to a 2015 Brookings Institution study, this may happen because of additional daylight in the evenings.
- Benefit the economy: according to a study by JP Morgan Chase, there is a drop in economic activity of 2.2 percent – 4.9 percent when clocks move back.
- Reduce childhood obesity and increases physical fitness: according to studies published by the International Journal Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity and the Journal of Physical Activity and Health, children see an increase in physical activity during DST. The Journal of Environmental Psychology found that DST increased pedestrian activity by 62% and cyclists activity by 38% because of additional daylight.
- Benefits the agricultural economy: bi-annual changes in time upsets the synergy between farmers’ schedules and their supply chain partners.
- Reduce energy usage: a 2008 study by the U.S. Department of Energy found that during the 4 weeks of DST, there were savings of about 0.5 percent in electricity per day. Later studies have also shown that the energy savings are minimal but a small savings does occur.
President Trump has publicly supported the legislation through a Twitter post. "Making Daylight Saving Time permanent is O.K. with me!" wrote President Trump on Twitter.
Not everything has had a positive outlook on the bill. In Florida, where the state legislature passed their version of the bill, local parents have complained about their children having to walk through "darkness" while walking to school during winter time, which by then usually the clock had been turned back an hour. This could affect families who live within a couple of miles from their assigned school.
If enacted, the clock would not "fall-back" to regular hours in November, rather it would stay in DST for the duration of the whole year moving forward.