Sunday marks the beginning of Daylight Saving Time, when most Americans will lose an hour of sleep at 2 a.m., getting an extra hour of daylight for the next few months. This year, Daylight Saving (not Savings) will end on Nov. 1.
That also means it’s time for the burgeoning tradition of Sen. Marco Rubio bashing the long-standing practice. Rubio has for years attempted to end the bi-annual changing of the clock, advocating for a permanent Daylight Saving Time. In 2018, the Florida legislature voted to do just that, but the change needs to be made at the federal level in order to stand.
In addition to Florida, Washington, Tennessee, South Carolina and Oregon have signed bills to move to permanent Daylight Saving Time. A host of other states have either introduced similar legislation or passed it without signing.
The Uniform Times Act of 1966 set guidelines for Daylight Saving, including allowing states and territories to opt out. It does not, however, allow states to permanently opt in. Hawaii, Arizona, Puerto Rico, Guam, the Virgin Islands, American Samoa and the Northern Marianas Islands all have chosen to opt out.
As he’s done in years past, Rubio tweeted about his disdain for the time change Friday. He also wrote about it for Fox News.
“The process of having to reset our clocks is an irritatingly outdated practice that we should ditch.,” Rubio wrote in the Fox News piece. “We should instead embrace DST as a critically important way to realign daylight time to Americans’ most productive hours, while also improving public health and the American economy.”
Last year, Rubio introduced the Sunshine Protection Act, which would permanently move the entire nation into Daylight Saving Time.
“By recalibrating the portion of the day spent in sunlight to standard work hours, studies suggest that we would see advantages to Americans’ public health, including reduced risks of seasonal depression, cardiac problems and strokes,” Rubio wrote. “Children exercise more during DST, and adults spend substantially more time engaged in pedestrian, cycling and other recreational activities.”
Rubio said the bi-partisan bill is awaiting action before the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation, which has authority over the Uniform Time Act, leaving Floridians to wonder once more if this will be the last time they accidentally show up late to Sunday brunch.