TAMPA, Fla. - Lawmakers in the US Senate overwhelmingly agreed that the time has come to end the practice of setting clocks back an hour each fall.
"No more switching clocks, more daylight hours to spend outside after school and after work, and more smiles — that is what we get with permanent Daylight Saving Time," Sen. Ed Markey of Massachusetts, the original cosponsor of the legislation, said in a statement.
Markey was joined on the chamber floor by senators from both parties as they made the case for how making daylight saving time permanent would have positive effects on public health and the economy and even cut energy consumption.
"Changing the clock twice a year is outdated and unnecessary," Republican Sen. Rick Scott of Florida said.
"I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Americans want more sunshine and less depression — people in this country, all the way from Seattle to Miami, want the Sunshine Protection Act," Sen. Patty Murray of Washington added.
'Sunshine Protection Act' has Florida roots
The measure has proven to be popular in Florida. Back in 2018, the state legislature voted in favor of its own version of the bill, and then-Governor Rick Scott signed it into law, calling on Florida to remain on daylight saving time year-round.
However, even with the governor's signature, Congress still needs to amend existing federal law to allow the change.
The measure has long been a priority for Rubio.
Back in 2020, he and now-Sen. Rick Scott – both from Florida – pushed for action to be taken at the federal level.
What would year-round daylight saving time look like here?
In summer, we would still have daylight from about 6:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.
But in the winter, instead of lasting from about 7:20 a.m. to 6 p.m., it would be light from 8:20 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Advocates argue that permanent daylight saving time would make the roads safer for drivers and pedestrians, and would provide an extra hour for school sports and evening commuters to get home before dark.
But others point out that it would be dark for just about everyone's morning commute -- including for kids at school bus stops.