Florida might become the third state – after Hawaii and Arizona – to be done with the hassle of changing their clocks twice a year. Yesterday the Senate overwhelmingly passed the Sunshine Protection Act in under one minute, with only two dissenters. The House had already passed it 103-11 last month. Now it has to be signed by Gov. Rick Scott.
If Scott passes it, however, it still has to go through Congress before Florida has Daylight Saving Time all year long.
What spurred the creation of this bill? Via Popular Mechanics:
According to the Tampa Bay Times, state senator Greg Steube came up with the idea when he walked into his local barbershop right after the clocks changed last fall. "One of the barbers had young children and it had such a negative impact every time they set their clocks back [that they had trouble] getting their kids up for school," he told the Senate Community Affairs Committee meeting. He said since introducing the idea, he’s heard from people across the state that the change could boost tourism dollars and save money, too.
“Today, one of the biggest cons [of daylight saving time] remains sunrise as late as 8:30 a.m. in parts of Florida, which means it would be pitch dark for school kids and early commuters,” author David Prerau, author of Seize the Daylight: The Curious and Contentious Story of Daylight Saving Time, told the Miami Herald. “People do not like dark mornings and that’s the main reason daylight saving time has not been adopted year-round.”
There are a few drawbacks to the bill. For instance, some parts of Florida would be pitch black until 8:30am during the winter – a terrific motivation to get out of bed for school and work. And Florida would be out of synch with the rest of the East Coast, but besides having TV shows start at a different time than their neighbors, does that really matter? Long sunny (or at least light) evenings appeal to me, and I hope that if this passes, California is next.