TAMPA (FOX 13) - Florida is another step closer to eliminating time changes.
Governor Rick Scott signed dozens of bills Friday, including the "Sunshine Protection Act, which calls for the state to remain on daylight saving time year-round.
The state senate approved the bill by a 33-to-2 vote earlier this month. But even with the governor’s signature, congress still needs to amend existing federal law to allow the change.
In summer, we would still have daylight from about 6:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.
But in winter, instead of lasting from 7:20 a.m. to 6 p.m. it would be light from 8:20 a.m. to 7 p.m.
There would be an extra hour for school sports and for people to get home before dark.
Gone would be disruptions in our sleep schedules.
But, there is a darkside that would come during winter mornings.
Under the proposal, it would be dark for just about everyone's morning commute, including for kids at school bus stops
"It is about pedestrian safety," said Hillsborough County Sheriff Chad Chronister, who has not taken a position on the overall bill.
Plus, for five months a year, Florida would be an hour ahead of the entire East Coast.
The stock market, sports games, flights, conference calls, New Year's Eve: all would be an hour ahead of the Eastern Time Zone.
If that happens, Florida would join Hawaii, most of Arizona, and a handful of U.S. territories in ignoring bi-annual time changes. While the rest of the eastern United States would set their clocks back in the fall, Florida wouldn't, leaving the state with more sunshine in the evening during the winter
The proposal would need Congressional approval.
Florida Senator Marco Rubio has already introduced two pieces of legislation:
One would make daylight saving time permanent nationwide.
The other would allow only Florida to change it's system.