Florida lawmaker says time has run out for time changes

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It's a bi-annual ritual - setting the clocks an hour forward in the Spring, and shifting an hour back in the Fall. One state lawmaker wants Florida to drop the biannual time change.

Shifting our clocks in the fall and spring has been controversial since the early 1900s. Farmers are often blamed for the United States implementing the policy, but that’s not the case.

Dennis Carlton Jr.'s family has been working in Florida agriculture for eight generations, growing citrus and strawberries, and raising cattle.

"A lot of work, a lot of time, a lot of effort that goes into all of this," Carlton said.

For them, it's normal to be up hours before the sun every day.

"No matter if we move the clock ourselves, it's still the same amount of daylight on the crops, on the ranches," he said.

Now, Florida Senator Greg Steube wants to do away with changing the clocks.

"If you look at the history of when it started, the reason why it was instituted was back in World War I was to conserve fuel,” said State Senator Greg Steube. “So obviously we don't have those issues now, and that was almost 100 years ago, so to revisit the issue I think it's a worthy discussion to be had."

The Sarasota lawmaker introduced a bill to abolish the time change here in Florida. 

Senate Bill 858 reads in part “Pursuant to 15 U.S.C. s. 260(a), this state exempts itself and all of its political subdivisions from the observance of daylight saving time, between 2 a.m. on the second Sunday in March and 2 a.m. on the first Sunday in November of each calendar year, and the entire state and all of its political subdivisions shall observe the standard time that is otherwise applicable during that period.”

However, Steube told FOX 13 News his intent is to keep the sunshine state on year-round daylight saving time - pushing the time when the sun rises later.

"When we spring forward in the spring, if the bill were to pass, it would stay that way,” said Steube.  “We would spring forward in the spring and we wouldn't change our clocks back."          

It’s a move the federal government would need to approve, but many people may be on board.

"We love that it stays lighter later because our kids can be playing outside,” said parent Terri Hewit. “As two working parents of three kids, it's nice to have that outdoor time for the kids to be out of the house and playing and being active."

Others say later daylight hours could benefit state tourism because restaurants, beaches, and theme parks would be able to stay open later. 

Florida residents recently pushed their clocks back to standard time, so there’s more daylight in the morning and the sun sets before we leave the cubicle. Early risers and many parents argue it’s easier to get up in the morning on standard time.

Others say it adds to the charm of winter in Florida.

“On one hand I love it because it is the holiday season, it gets dark, you go home early,” said Trevor Price. “I hate it because it gets dark, you have to go home early.  I don’t really see a need for it, but when it comes around I sort of enjoy it as much as I can.”

Most people we spoke with agree the clock has run out on adjusting the time twice a year, saying springing forward and falling back is disruptive, unnecessary, and outdated.

"It doesn't seem to make as much sense in the current day, in the present day, I believe,” Kate Hazelwood said.

Steube expects a companion bill to be filed in the House.           

Right now, Arizona and Hawaii are the only states that don't observe daylight saving time.