Florida Senators introduce bill to keep Daylight Saving Time year-round during COVID-19 pandemic

Florida Senators Marco Rubio and Rick Scott introduced legislation on Wednesday that would keep the United States in Daylight Saving Time through November 7, 2021.

They said that by not "falling back" in six weeks, Americans will not have to change their clocks in March 2021, when it is typically time to "spring forward." This will allow one year of stability for families who are already dealing with disruptions caused by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

“Our government has asked a lot of the American people over the past seven months, and keeping the nation on Daylight Saving Time is just one small step we can take to help ease the burden,” Senator Rubio said. “More daylight in the after school hours is critical to helping families and children endure this challenging school year. Studies have shown many benefits of a year-round Daylight Saving Time, and while I believe we should make it permanent all year-round, I urge my colleagues to — at the very least — work with me to avoid changing the clocks this fall.”

MORE NEWS: Florida voters favor raising minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2026, poll shows

“After months of staying inside amid the coronavirus pandemic, families across the nation could use a little more sunshine and time to enjoy all that Florida has to offer,” Senator Scott said. “I signed legislation as Governor to continue Daylight Saving Time year-round for Floridians, and I’m glad to join Senator Rubio to lead this effort in Congress.”

They also listed the following as benefits to year-round Daylight Saving Time:

  • Reduces car crashes and accidents involving pedestrians
  • Reduces risk for cardiac issues, stroke, and seasonal depression
  • Reduces the number of robberies by 27 percent
  • Benefits the economy 
  • Reduces childhood obesity and increases physical fitness
  • Benefits the agricultural economy
  • Reduces energy usage

The bill introduced will bypass the Senate Committee on Commerce and be placed directly on the Senate Calendar. 

MORE NEWS: Officials detail plan to provide COVID-19 vaccines for free

Previously, Senator Rubio reintroduced the 'Sunshine Protection Act,' which would make Daylight Saving Time permanent across the country. This reportedly reflects the Florida legislature's 2018 enactment of year-round DST. However, the change will not apply until there is a change in the federal statue. 

Eleven other states — Delaware, Louisiana, Maine, Oregon, South Carolina, Tennessee, Utah, Washington, Arkansas, Alabama, and Wyoming — have passed similar laws.

Tune in to FOX 35 Orlando for the latest Central Florida news.