Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Spring Forward Forever

Florida, like most of the rest of the country, will go on Daylight Saving Time at 2 a.m. this coming Sunday.  But it may never go back to Standard time.

After hours of divisive debate over guns, schools and freedom, the Florida Senate spent less than a minute Tuesday and voted on something they all could agree on: daylight.

The Senate voted 33-2 to send a bill to Gov. Rick Scott to ask the U.S. Congress to decide whether Florida should be a state that enjoys Daylight Savings Time year-round. It was passed by the House on Feb. 14, 103-11.

Under the plan, HB 1013, called the “Sunshine Protection Act,” the state would ask Congress to pass a law to let the Sunshine State move from Standard Time to Daylight Savings Time (when you set your clocks ahead one hour) year-round. Daylight Savings Time runs from the second Sunday in March to the first Sunday in November and is set to start this Sunday, March 11, and end Nov. 4.

If approved, Florida would join two other states that have exempted themselves from the 1966 law that set a uniform time for all time zones across the country. Hawaii and most of Arizona are on standard time year-round.

Under federal law, the U.S. Department of Transportation is charged with setting time zones but allows states to exempt themselves from Daylight Saving Time, if Congress approves. The practical impact of that change would mean that on the Winter Solstice — that’s the day in the Northern Hemisphere with the least amount of daylight — sunrise in Florida would be at about 8 a.m. and sunset would be at about 6:30 p.m. instead of 7 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. like it is now.

That also means that we’ll be an hour ahead — on the same time as Puerto Rico and the Lesser Antilles — next winter.

It may give us more sunshine, but I also wonder how it will impact things like TV schedules — prime time will run from 9 p.m. to midnight — and airline timetables.  But I’m sure they thought of that, right?

3 barks and woofs on “Spring Forward Forever

  1. I live in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. Of the 15 counties up here, four are on central time and the rest are on eastern time (known locally as “slow” and “fast” time), as is the rest of Michigan. I’m in one of the four. It’s a pain. “Do you mean 4 p.m. fast or slow time?”

  2. I prefer standard time for many reasons not the least of which is young children hauling out of bed and catching their bus a couple of hours before light breaks in the east.

  3. Daylight savings time was intended – does anyone remember? – to benefit farmers who wanted more time to do their thing in the fields. Since farmers as an entire constituency have pretty much disappeared with the possible exception of wheat farmers who are now huge conglomerates and the corn farmers in the upper mid-west, the justification for daylight savings time has weakened. But I must say I like the longer evening hours.

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