Politics

US senators once again introduce bill to make Daylight Saving Time permanent

A person adjusts the time on a clock. (Shutterstock via CNN)

 (CNN) — A group of bipartisan U.S. senators is reintroducing a bill that would make Daylight Saving Time permanent.

In the United States, most states observe Daylight Saving Time — it starts at 2 a.m. on the second Sunday in March and ends at 2 a.m. on the first Sunday in November — for eight months out of the year, and four months of standard time.

But the Sunshine Protection Act, proposed by Republican Sen. Marco Rubio, calls for not “falling back” in November and instead enjoying Daylight Saving Time year-round. It would not change the country’s current time zones or the number of hours of sunlight.

The bill was already passed in Rubio’s home state of Florida in 2018, but to go into effect, it requires a change at the federal level. Fifteen other states — including California, which voted to make Daylight Saving Time permanent in 2018, and Washington, which did the same in 2019 — have passed similar legislation.

“The call to end the antiquated practice of clock changing is gaining momentum throughout the nation,” Rubio said in a statement on Tuesday.

Not everyone observes the tradition in the United States; Hawaii and Arizona don’t. The five major U.S. territories — American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana Island, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands — also do not observe Daylight Saving Time.

In a recent statement, Rubio cited multiple benefits to extending Daylight Saving Time, including reducing the number of car accidents Americans experience and helping reduce the risk of seasonal depression.

He said such legislation would help give families “more stability throughout the year.”

Democratic Sen. Ed Markey of Massachusetts echoed Rubio in highlighting the benefits of extending Daylight Saving Time.

“Studies have found year-round Daylight Saving Time would improve public health, public safety, and mental health — especially important during this cold and dark COVID winter,” Markey said in a statement, adding that he is “proud to sponsor the Sunshine Protection Act to add an extra hour of sunshine for the full 365 days a year.”

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