Sen. Rubio files federal legislation to make daylight saving time permanent

U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio seems to be on board with permanent daylight saving time.

A week after Florida lawmakers passed a bill to keep the state on daylight saving time year round if allowed by Congress, Rubio has filed similar federal legislation.

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There is no summary on a congressional website of the bill, titled "A bill to make daylight savings (sic) time permanent, and for other reasons," but it has been sent to the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation.

A Rubio press release says there are actually two proposals. One would keep daylight saving time permanent across the country, while another would give Florida approval to establish it permanently within its boundaries.

“Last week, Florida’s legislature overwhelmingly voted for permanent daylight saving time for the State of Florida,” Rubio said in a release. “Reflecting the will of the Sunshine State, I proudly introduce these bills that would approve Florida’s will and, if made nationally, would also ensure Florida is not out of sync with the rest of the nation.”

According to Rubio, the potential benefits of making daylight saving time permanent include the following:

  • Benefits the economy, including the elimination of a substantial economic decline that comes every November when clocks move back, according to a study by JP Morgan Chase of major city regions, which found that there is a drop in economic activity of 2.2 percent – 4.9 percent when clocks move back.
  • Benefits the agricultural economy, which is disproportionately disrupted by biannual changes in time by upsetting farm schedules and farmers' relationships with their supply chain and distribution partners.
  • Reduces the number of robberies by 27 percent, according to a 2015 Brookings Institution report, because of additional daylight in the evenings.
  • Reduces car crashes and car wrecks involving pedestrians because the additional sunlight increased visibility, according to the American Journal of Public Health and the Journal of Safety Research.
  • Reduces childhood obesity, according to studies published by the International Journal Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity and the Journal of Physical Activity and Health, which found that children have more hours of physical activity during DST.
  • Increased physical fitness, according to the Journal of Environment Psychology, which found that daylight saving time increased pedestrian activity by 62% and cyclists activity by 38% because of additional daylight.
  • Positive impact on wildlife conservation, according to a collaboration of 16 experts who studied DST's impact on wildlife across the United States, Europe and parts of Australia concluded that DST reduces the number of vehicle collisions with wildlife by 8 – 11 percent by shifting normal traffic patterns to an hour off from nocturnal wildlife's behavior.

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