Time after time: Rubio, Scott introduce Sunshine Protection Act for 4th time

Legislation would make daylight saving time permanent

A still of U.S. Senator Marco Rubio, R-Florida, from a video message shared Thursday, March 10, 2022. (Senator Marco Rubio)

WASHINGTON – Senators Marco Rubio and Rick Scott reintroduced the Sunshine Protection Act for Congress’ consideration on Thursday, marking the fourth such effort to “lock the clock” and make daylight saving time permanent nationwide.

The legislation has been filed in the U.S. Senate in every session since and starting with the 115th, each time with a companion bill in the House. The announcements seem to come either ahead of or soon after the day we set our clocks forward an hour, in this instance more than a week ahead of the March 12 “spring ahead” date.

“Permanent daylight saving means more time in the sunshine and that’s something everybody should support. Changing the clock twice a year is outdated and unnecessary. I’m proud to be leading this bipartisan legislation with Senator Rubio that makes a much-needed change and benefits so many in Florida and across the nation. When I was governor of Florida, I was proud to sign this bill into law on the state level, and I will continue this effort in Congress. We need to get it all the way over the finish line this time. It’s time for Congress to act and pass this good bill today,” Scott said.

[TRENDING: WATCH IT AGAIN: NASA, SpaceX Crew-6 mission launches from Florida | Researcher begins 100-day stay at Florida underwater hotel | Dad accused of killing daughter, 3 others in Brevard County home | Become a News 6 Insider]

A one-page outline describing the legislation, shared Thursday, echoed the same points as the same such document Rubio used in 2019.

The legislation, if enacted, would not alter time zones, change the amount of hours of daylight or mandate regions that don’t observe daylight saving time to start doing so, according to the summary. That latter point refers to American Samoa, most of Arizona, Guam, Hawaii, the Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands, the documents read.

A list of potential benefits is also provided, discussing ideas that permanent daylight saving time might reduce car crashes, lower crime, benefit the economy, tackle childhood obesity, simplify farming logistics as they relate to supply chains, cut down on energy usage and reduce the risk of stroke, cardiac issues and seasonal depression.

Rubio has talked for years of bi-partisan support behind the Sunshine Protection Act since HB 1013 — enacting uniform daylight saving time for all Floridians — was signed into law in 2018 by then-Gov. Rick Scott. Though Scott signed off on it, the change won’t apply until a change in federal statutes is made, specifically to the Uniform Time Act of 1966. Rubio’s bill was originally modeled off of HB 1013.

The Sunshine Protection Act died in committee during its first two lifecycles, making it far enough during its third run in 2022 to receive unanimous approval in the Senate and die in the House without a vote.

“This ritual of changing time twice a year is stupid. Locking the clock has overwhelming bipartisan and popular support. This Congress, I hope that we can finally get this done,” Rubio said in a statement.

Get today’s headlines in minutes with Your Florida Daily:

About the Author:

Brandon, a UCF grad, joined the ClickOrlando team in November 2021. Before joining News 6, Brandon worked at WDBO.