Daylight Saving Time begins at 2 a.m. Sunday, when we all spring forward by one hour and, in turn, enjoy more light at the end of the day.
But a bill before Congress, introduced by Sen. Marco Rubio and called the “Sunshine Protection Act,” aims to change that.
March Daylight Saving Time was enacted in the United States following Germany’s 1916 effort to conserve fuel during World War I and mandated by U.S. law in 1966. Hawaii and Arizona are the only states not to observe it.
In 2005, Congress extended Daylight Saving Time to begin the second Sunday in March and end the first Sunday in November.
“As a result, the United States now enjoys eight months of DST, and only four months of standard time (November-March),” Rubio said in a news release.
Rubio’s proposal would eliminate the changing of clocks to standard time for those four months.
The Florida Republican introduced the national measure after the state’s legislature passed its own bill to end November clock-changing.
Rubio said the potential effects of making Daylight Saving Time permanent include:
- Reducing car crashes and car accidents involving pedestrians: better aligning daylight hours to drivers’ standard work hours’ increases visibility.
- Reducing risk for cardiac issues, stroke and seasonal depression.
- Reducing the number of robberies by 27 percent, according to a 2015 Brookings Institution because of additional daylight in the evenings.
- Benefitting the economy, according to a study by JP Morgan Chase, which found that there is a drop in economic activity of 2.2 percent to 4.9 percent when clocks move back.
- Benefitting the agricultural economy, “which is disproportionately disrupted by biannual changes in time by upsetting the synergy between farmers’ schedules and their supply chain partners.”
- Reducing energy usage, a 2008 study by the U.S. Department of Energy found that during the four weeks the U.S. extended daylight savings from the 2005 law, there were savings of about 0.5 percent in electricity per day.
Opponents of abolishing th yearly end Daylight Saving Time say the move would push back sunrise, meaning children walking to school or waiting for the bus in the dark.
They also argue the energy savings are nominal since electronics are such a major part of people’s lives today.
Rubio submitted a similar Sunshine Protect Act bill in Congress last year, but it never made it out of committees.