Washington, D.C. — U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) today urged Senate Commerce Committee Chairman Roger Wicker (R-MS) and Ranking Member Maria Cantwell (D-WA) to report S. 670, the Sunshine Protection Act of 2019, to the full Senate as soon as possible. This is the second Congress that Senator Rubio has introduced the measure and is reflective of the Florida legislature’s 2018 enactment of year-round DST. Senator Rubio reintroduced the bill last week with Senator Rick Scott (R-FL) with bipartisan support. The legislation would make Daylight Saving Time (DST) permanent across the country. U.S. Representative Vern Buchanan (R-FL) introduced the companion bill the House.
The full text of the letter is below:
Dear Chairman Wicker and Ranking Member Cantwell:
I respectfully request that the Commerce Committee consider and report S. 670, the Sunshine Protection Act of 2019, to the full Senate as soon as possible. The bill, which I first introduced in the 115th Congress, would end the biannual requirement to change our clocks between Daylight Saving Time (DST) and Standard Time. The legislation would not impact those states that currently do not observe DST, restrict states’ ability to opt out of DST, nor would it alter time zones.
This non-partisan issue, which affects all Americans, is not a new idea, but is one worthy of consideration by the committee. Last year, Florida’s legislature passed, and former Governor Scott signed, a law designating permanent DST. However, as you know, this requires amending the Uniform Time Act of 1966. Florida is not alone in the movement to end the unnecessary practice. In fact, many states have, and continue to consider measures which would make DST the standard time. Mississippi and Washington, for example, are just two of several states currently looking at the issue.
With the vast majority of Americans participating in DST for eight months out of the year, it has become clear this antiquated practice no longer serves any purpose. Adversely, studies have shown the time change has negative impacts, and that extending DST can benefit the economy and reduce energy consumption. For these reasons, I respectfully request you consider this important bill in committee at the earliest opportunity.