Politics

Sunshine State Senator Seeks More Sunshine

Marco Rubio proposes year-round Daylight Saving Time

Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., wants to change time. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Winters might not be quite so long and lonely if Sen. Marco Rubio gets his way.

The Sunshine State Republican wants to keep the sun out late, all year round.

Following a 33-2 vote by the Florida state Senate and a similarly lopsided vote in the state House to push for federal authorization to set the clocks on Daylight Saving Time without “falling back,” Rubio has unveiled legislation that would do just that.

“Last week, Florida’s legislature overwhelmingly voted for permanent Daylight Saving Time for the State of Florida,” Rubio said in a statement. “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.”

Rubio introduced two proposals: one that would only apply to his home state and another that would establish Daylight Saving Time all year throughout the United States.

Clocks were adjusted to Daylight Saving Time for 2018 on Sunday morning.

Congress last changed time as part of the 2005 Energy Policy Act, which shifted the clock change schedule to start on the second Sunday in March. That was thanks to an amendment authored by current Massachusetts Democratic Sen. Edward J. Markey, who was serving in the House and on the Energy and Commerce Committee at the time.

In making his announcement Wednesday morning, Rubio cited benefits including a reduction in traffic accidents between vehicles and pedestrians because of the increased brightness in the early evening, as well as increased physical fitness and decreased childhood obesity.

A special Massachusetts commission actually came to the same conclusion in a report issued last year, suggesting the Commonwealth should join the Atlantic Standard Time zone. That’s the time zone currently occupied by parts of eastern Canada, including Nova Scotia, as well as American territories including Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

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