Friday, March 28, 2008

Changing Times in Floriduh

A Florida state legislator is pushing through a bill to take the state off Daylight Savings Time because it’s too hard to figure out how to reprogram his microwave oven.

What’s worse: Dusk ruining a late-afternoon round of golf, or figuring out how to change the microwave clock twice a year?

A state senator is sure it’s the latter, so he’s pushing a bill to abolish daylight saving time in Florida.

Saying it puts people through ”unnecessary jet lag” and the annoyance of having to change clocks in the spring and fall, Republican Sen. Bill Posey of Rockledge wants the Sunshine State to join Hawaii and parts of Arizona as DST rebels.

”The whole body gets out of its equilibrium,” Posey said Thursday at a Senate committee on governmental operations, where he is vice chairman.

The group favored the bill 4-1. It faces two more committee votes before the full Senate would take it up; there is no similar legislation in the House.

Sen. Jim King, the lone no vote, believes the extra hour of daylight is worth the aggravation of changing clocks twice a year. The draw of the Sunshine State is, of course, sunshine.

”The other side is the elongated lighted time in the summer months, which is when we entertain most of our visitors,” said King, a Jacksonville Republican. ”It’s a plus that it doesn’t get dark until late.”


Posey’s idea is for Florida to ”stay off it all the time,” he said. He talked about the hassle of changing clocks, watches and cellphones, about work accidents going up during DST and the effect it has on people’s internal clocks.

I can come up with enough reasons to keep Florida on standard time year-round: we’re far enough south that the length of daylight isn’t that much different between summer and winter, it doesn’t really save that much energy, and we’re far enough west in the Eastern Time zone that it doesn’t matter (Miami is as far west as Pittsburgh, believe it or not) and part of the panhandle is in the Central Time Zone. But declaring in legislation that we’re too stupid to figure out how to set a clock is not the best selling point for the Sunshine State. Besides, my cell phone and computer are smart enough to figure out how to do it all by themselves. That opens the door to all kinds of speculation that your average cell phone is smarter than a member of the Florida State Legislature, but that’s another post.