The legislature often is accused of wanting to turn the clock back on Florida, and in one instance, the charge literally is true.
It would actually be a step forward.
A bill that would keep daylight saving time year round passed through the House last month and Senate just passed it on Tuesday with surprisingly little opposition...33 to 2. Apparently, the idea of never having to reset your clocks and adjust your schedule has strong bipartisan appeal in an otherwise highly polarized political climate. Having more sunshine in the Sunshine State is something on which most Floridians can agree.
It's not like legislators are trying to repeal the laws of physics. Although the Earth's rotation around the sun brings a natural change in the length of days, daylight saving time (DST) is purely a man-made construct to organize social activities around the difference in sunshine.
DST was first widely used in the U.S. during the two world wars, when it was seen as a way to save energy. After World War II, states (and even cities) were allowed to set their own sunshine standards, but that resulted in a confusing patchwork of times. In 1966, Congress enacted the Uniform Time Act to standardize daylight saving time, although states have the option of remaining on standard time year-round if Congress approves. Currently, only Hawaii and most of Arizona have opted out. Indiana had been strictly on standard time until its legislature adopted DST in 2005.
The clock change has become an ingrained habit without sufficient justification. Although a 1975 report by the U.S. Department of Transportation found DST resulted in very modest savings on energy consumption, subsequent research has indicated the opposite is true. For example, University of California economist studied Indiana's switch to DST and found that daylight saving time led to a 1 percent overall rise in residential electricity use, costing the state an extra $9 million.
Even more compelling are the medical effects of the time change. A 2008 study by Swedish researchers who examined heart attack rates in Sweden since 1987 found the number of attacks rose about 5 percent during the first week of daylight saving time.
This and other studies linked disrupted sleep patterns to the cardiac episodes.
Staying on daylight saving time makes particular sense in Florida, as the additional clock hour of sunshine at the end of the day is suitable to this state's tourist-heavy economy. It would mean more daylight on beaches, more daylight to shop, etc. Plus, Florida's extreme southern geography means it experiences less variation in the length of winter and summer days than do northern states.
Anyway, time to spring ahead is here again, Saturday night at 2am, it turns into 3am. And once again, we loose an hour of sleep! But if the Governor signs it and Congress does it’s part...It will be our last time.