May 23, 2022

Senate passes Sunshine Protection Act, end of daylight savings time

Spring ahead, fall behind — for now. A new bill is set to change the way Americans handle time.

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) proposed a bill that passed Tuesday to make Daylight Savings Time permanent, Breitbart reported. Dubbed the Sunshine Protection Act, it would enshrine summer zones into law, though states could still opt-out.

“Already, 20 of the 48 states that observe the time change have passed proposals for year-round daylight,” Sen. Ed Markey (D-MA) and Rubio in an opinion piece published earlier this week. “The states of Massachusetts and Florida, which we represent, have already expressed support for switching to permanent daylight saving time,” they stated.

“But our states can’t do it without enacting federal legislation. That’s why we’ve introduced the Sunshine Protection Act, which would amend the legislation which created time zones, the time change and how time zones are determined, to make brighter days a reality year-round,” Markey and Rubio said.

“The effects of darker afternoons on our mental and physical health can be serious,” they contended. “The biannual transition of ‘spring forward’ and ‘fall back’ disrupts circadian sleeping patterns, causing confusion, sleep disturbances and even an elevated risk to heart health,” the Senators warned.

“Year-round daylight saving time could also decrease the likelihood of fatal car accidents, which jump six percent in the days following the time change, according to a 2020 study from the University of Colorado,” the piece contended. However, Rubio’s home state had previously railed against the measure citing injuries to school children traveling in the dark in Florida.

A similar measure proposed by former President Richard Nixon ultimately failed as well. The problems of a hazardous morning walk to school in the pitch-black coupled with Nixon’s embattled presidency was enough to kill the measure.

More daylight in the evening is certainly an enticing prospect. However, it is concerning that children would make their way to school in the darkness when drivers would have difficulty seeing them — and stopping in time.

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