Daylight Saving Time starts Sunday. Could this be Florida's last time switch?

Senator Marco Rubio introduced the Sunshine Protection Act of 2019 this Wednesday to the U.S. Senate. If passed, it would make Daylight Saving Time year-round nationwide.
The clocks will be turning foward an hour Sunday as Daylight Saving Time begins.
The clocks will be turning foward an hour Sunday as Daylight Saving Time begins.
Published March 8
Updated March 8

It's that time of year again.

Starting this Sunday at 2 a.m., Daylight Saving Time will officially begin for 2019, lasting until 2 a.m. on Nov. 3.

Americans will “spring forward” this time around (losing an hour of sleep in the process) by moving their clocks ahead one hour — at least, they will in 48 states.

Daylight Saving Time isn’t recognized in Hawaii and Arizona, nor is it in Puerto Rico, Guam, the Virgin Islands, American Samoa or the Northern Marianas Islands. Since it's not mandated by the federal government, individual states and territories decide whether to use it or not.

And Florida could be next. Sort of.

Lawmakers in Tallahassee passed a bill in the spring 0f 2018 that would have made Florida the first state to make Daylight Saving Time year-round, meaning it would enjoy later sunsets (and later sunrises) 365 days a year. But to make it reality, Congress needed to approve it — and that's where the prospect died, much to the television and airline industry's pleasure.

Florida lawmakers aren't giving up, though. Senator Marco Rubio introduced the Sunshine Protection Act of 2019 to the U.S. Senate on Wednesday, which would make Daylight Saving Time year-round for the entire country. A companion bill was filed in the House by U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan, R-Longboat Key.

"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.

Rubio’s office has said that additional daylight at the end of the day could reduce the number of car accidents, attempted robberies and lower the risk of cardiac illnesses, stroke and seasonal depression. 

Meanwhile, opposition to the bill cites potential hazards that would be posed by more darkness later in the morning, especially to children who walk to school or wait to ride the bus. 

Regardless of the bill's outcome, however, one thing's for certain. Floridians will be losing an hour of sleep this Sunday.

Where do you stand? Keep Daylight Saving Time year-round, or do you like the time change? Or should we just stay on Eastern Standard Time? Tell us in the comments below.

Contact Josh Fiallo at jfiallo@tampabay.com. Follow @ByJoshFiallo.

 

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