With Americans planning to set their clocks back this weekend, U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan, R-Fla., is doubling down on his call to make Daylight Saving Time (DST) permanent.
Noting that seven states, including Florida, are looking to opt out of it, Buchanan showcased his proposal to end DST.
“We need to end this antiquated practice,” Buchanan said on Wednesday. “There are enormous health and economic benefits to making daylight saving time permanent.
“Last year, Florida lawmakers voted to make daylight saving time permanent in my home state,” Buchanan added. “Congress should pass my bill to move Florida and the rest of the country to year-round daylight saving time.”
Back in March, Buchanan, U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., and other Florida Republicans, brought back a proposal making DST permanent across the country.
Early last year, Rubio introduced the “Sunshine Protection Act” after the Florida Legislature passed a bill calling on Congress to make DST permanent across the state.
Rubio reintroduced the bill earlier this year.
“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,” Rubio said in March. “Reflecting the will of the state of Florida, I’m proud to reintroduce this bill to also make Daylight Saving Time permanent nationally.”
U.S. Sen. Rick Scott, R-Fla., is cosponsoring the bill in the Senate.
“I was glad to sign legislation as governor to continue Daylight Saving Time year-round for Floridians, and now join Senator Rubio to lead this effort in Congress,” Scott said in March. “The Sunshine Protection Act will allow Floridians and visitors to enjoy our beautiful state even later in the day, and will benefit Florida’s tourism industry, which just celebrated another record year.”
Over on the other side of Capitol Hill, Buchanan and U.S. Rep. Greg Steube, R-Fla., are backing the companion measure.
“Last year, Florida lawmakers were the first in the nation to vote to make Daylight Saving Time permanent in our home state. We should follow their lead at the national level to allow them to move forward with this change and ensure that Florida and the rest of the nation are on the same page year-round.” Buchanan said in March.
Rubio and Buchanan said there were many benefits to making DST permanent across the nation, including a JP Morgan Chase study which found a drop in city’s economies after ending DST in fall; a Brookings Institution study which found extended daylight in the evening reduces crime; and studies from the American Journal of Public Health and the Journal of Safety Research which found that there are fewer car accidents during DST.
The Florida Republicans also insisted there were health benefits in making DST permanent including studies from the International Journal Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity and the Journal of Physical Activity and Health which found that children exercise more; and a report from the Journal of Environment Psychology which showed more cycling and walking when DST is extended.
President Donald Trump expressed support for the idea.
“Making Daylight Saving Time permanent is O.K. with me,” the president posted on Twitter back in March.
Reach Kevin Derby at email@example.com.