Rubio: Well, we Americans are about to suffer yet another ridiculous time change as we now Spring Forward this weekend. Switching in and out of Daylight Saving Time is outdated, and it's only a source of annoyance and confusion. Frankly, it's just dumb, and there's just no other way to say it.
As a country, we've dealt with this policy for far too long. Twenty states and a huge majority of Americans want to stay in Daylight Saving Time all year round, and we now have bipartisan and bicameral support to do just that. So please, let's just lock the clock once and for all and put all this stupidity behind us.
Rubio reintroduced the legislation in March 2021. James Lankford (R-OK), Roy Blunt (R-MO), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Ron Wyden (D-OR), Rick Scott (R-FL), Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-MS), Ed Markey (D-MA), Bill Hagerty (R-TN), Jim Inhofe (R-OK), Patty Murray (D-WA), Alex Padilla (D-CA), Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), Martin Heinrich (D-NM), Patrick Toomey (R-PA), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), and Tommy Tuberville (R-AL) are cosponsors of the bill.
The bill reflects the Florida legislature’s 2018 enactment of year-round DST. However, for Florida’s change to apply, a change in the federal statute is required. Nineteen other states — Arkansas, Alabama, California, Delaware, Georgia, Idaho, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Mississippi, Montana, Ohio, Oregon, South Carolina, Tennessee, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming — have passed similar laws, resolutions or voter initiatives, and dozens more are looking to do so.
The legislation, if enacted, would apply to those states that 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. 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. A one-pager of the bill is available here.
Daylight Saving Time begins this Sunday, March 13, and lasts until Sunday, November 6.
Potential effects of making Daylight Saving Time permanent for the nation:
- Reduces 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. Also reduces the number of vehicle collisions with wildlife by 8 – 11 percent by shifting normal traffic patterns to an hour off from nocturnal wildlife’s behavior.
- Reduces risk for cardiac issues, stroke and seasonal depression.
- Reduces the number of robberies by 27 percent, according to a 2015 Brookings Institution, because of additional daylight in the evenings.
- Benefits the economy, according to a study by JP Morgan Chase, which found that there is a drop in economic activity of 2.2 percent – 4.9 percent when clocks move back.
- Reduces 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, as 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, which is disproportionately disrupted by biannual changes in time, which upset the synergy between farmers’ schedules and their supply chain partners.
- Reduces energy usage, according to a 2008 study by the U.S. Department of Energy, which found that during the 4 weeks the U.S. extended daylight savings from the 2005 law, there were savings of about 0.5 percent in electricity per day. Later studies have also shown that the energy savings are minimal, but small savings do occur.