Heard on the Hill

With clocks springing ahead, lawmakers want more sunshine

Florida senators lead effort for year-round daylight saving time as Markey touts 2005 expansion

Rick Scott and his fellow senator from Florida want to make daylight saving time a permanent thing. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Ahead of this weekend’s move to “spring ahead” the clocks, Florida lawmakers announced an effort to get rid of time changes altogether.

With the “Sunshine Protection Act,” Republican Sens. Marco Rubio and Rick Scott and Rep. Vern Buchanan want to make daylight saving time permanent, eliminating the switch back in the fall. Rubio introduced the same bill in the last Congress.

“I was glad to sign legislation as governor to continue Daylight Saving Time year-round for Floridians, and now join Senator Rubio to lead this effort in Congress,” Scott said in a statement. “The Sunshine Protection Act will allow Floridians and visitors to enjoy our beautiful state even later in the day, and will benefit Florida’s tourism industry, which just celebrated another record year.”

State lawmakers in Maine are considering a similar change, as well as possibly moving the state to the Atlantic Time Zone.

Sen. Edward J. Markey took a moment Friday to remind people of his role in extending daylight saving time, which starts weeks earlier than it used to.

“Daylight Saving Time — or DST — also stands for Daylight Sunshine Time, providing welcome extra hours of sun after a cold winter,” the Democrat from Massachusetts said in a statement. “The extra time of sunshine brings a smile to everyone’s faces, puts a spring in our step, and offers a great reason to get outside and enjoy the outdoors. I am proud to have helped co-author this provision of the law.”

Markey (who was then in the House) crafted the extension, which came as part of a 2005 energy bill, with Republican Rep. Fred Upton of Michigan.

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