Sunshine Protection Act resurfaces to save Florida's sunshine

- For anyone unaware, the clocks are ticking closer to Daylight Saving Time. For many Floridians, the morning of Sunday, March 13 means an hour less sleep than usual. 

For anyone who groans at the thought, a Florida lawmaker has you in mind with a law that would end the changing of clocks once and for all.

The Sunshine Protection Act (SB 1098), currently before the  Community Affairs; Commerce and Tourism committee, is in it's third consecutive year in the Florida Legislature. It also had a presentation in 2008. All previous versions died in similar committees. 

The law is simple: Florida would switch to Daylight Saving Time and never switch back. 

Opposition to the bill is fierce, however. From the airline lobbyists to conservationists - there are many who say staying on Daylight Saving Time is a bad idea. 

Time changes were first introduced during World War I and World War II to save energy by cutting back on use of electric lights. It was later adopted as a long-term process, being extended to late April by President Reagan, then extended to March by George W. Bush.

Daylight Saving Time today is from the second Sunday in March until the first Sunday in November. Currently, the majority of Arizona does not observe daylight saving time, Hawaii, American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands. 

For most of the year, most of the country observes Daylight Saving Time, which is why many opponents, like the airlines, say switching Florida's time would unnecessarily confuse travelers and airline scheduling systems. Additionally, environmentalists argue no energy is actually saved by the time changes. 

Anyone who wakes up early to start the day, permanent Daylight Saving Time would also mean darkness when the alarm goes off for most of the year.

Proponents of the measure say, like the Sunshine Protection Act's main sponsor, Florida State Sen. Darren Soto, say "Florida Time" would be great for tourism, agriculture and businesses - many of which rely on sunshine for one reason or another. 

As for now, whether you love Daylight Saving Time or truly dislike losing the hour of sleep once a year, clocks will change from 1:59 a.m. to 3 a.m. Sunday, March 13, 2016. Otherwise, you may be late to church or brunch on Sunday.

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