If Florida Senator Marco Rubio has his way, Americans will have more sunlight in the evening hours year-round.
Rubio has introduced a bill that would make Daylight Saving Time permanent, with an entire year of clocks moved forward one hour. As the Orlando Sentinel reported, the bill was introduced to the U.S. Senate this week, just days before Americans move their clocks forward one hour on Sunday at 2 a.m. A companion bill was filed in the U.S. House of Representatives by Republican Vern Buchanan from Florida.
In introducing the bill, Rubio noted that Florida had already moved to make Daylight Saving Time permanent in the state and made reference to the health and safety benefits, including fewer car crashes by aligning daylight hours to the most common commuting times.
“Studies have shown many benefits of a year-round Daylight Saving Time, which is why Florida’s Legislature overwhelmingly voted to make it permanent last year,” Rubio said in a statement. “Reflecting the will of the state of Florida, I’m proud to reintroduce this bill to make Daylight Saving Time permanent nationally.”
Rubio’s office also noted that studies have shown a lower risk for cardiac issues, strokes, and seasonal depression when there is more sunlight at night. It also reduces robberies by 27 percent, his office noted.
This is not the first effort to bring a permanent end to the biannual changing of the clocks. Last year, countries across Europe moved their clocks for what was believed to be the last time, as the European Council recommended that all European Union members stop changing their clocks.
As ABC.net.au reported, the council called for the practice to be halted indefinitely after the EU issued a public consultation about whether they believe the changing of the clocks should come to an end. The survey also asked residents if they would rather have “permanent summertime” or “permanent standard time.” More respondents opted for a “permanent summertime,” the report noted.
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The sentiment is largely the same in the United States. A 2012 survey from Rasmussen Reports found that 40 percent of Americans believe that daylight saving time is useless, and a number of different advocacy groups have called for the practice to come to a permanent end.
It is not clear if Marco Rubio’s bill making Daylight Saving Time permanent will pass into law. The Florida Senator had introduced the same bill last year, with no progress on moving it forward through the Senate.