Concerns mount as reality of permanent time change draws closer

- When you set your clocks ahead this weekend, it could be the last time you have to perform that ritual -- at least in the Sunshine State. A bill to keep Florida on daylight saving time permanently is now awaiting the governor's signature.

Daylight saving time was first instituted in 1918 during World War I to save coal. Now it could add more evening sun to Florida's beaches.

"Mexico is a big competitor of ours and daylight saving time is year-round there," explained Keith Overton, president of Tradewinds Island Resort on St. Pete Beach. "We'd love to see it. I mean who wouldn't want more sunshine for longer periods of time?"

But some parents worry the change would put children in danger going to school in the dark at 8 a.m. or after. And even the mayor of a beach city has concerns.

"Is Florida going to be the only state on the Atlantic coast with the time change?" asked Mayor George Cretekos of Clearwater. "If so, how does that impact our businesses and travel?"

Along with the governor's signature, the measure must also be approved by the U.S. Congress before Florida can turn to permanent daylight saving time.

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