Washington (March 12, 2021) —
Markey (D-Mass.), Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), James Lankford (R-Okla.), Roy Blunt
(R-Mo.), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.
), Ron Wyden (D-Ore.
), Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.), and Rick Scott (R-Fla.) reintroduced the Sunshine Protection
Act this week
, legislation that would make Daylight Saving Time (DST)
permanent across the country.
The legislation, if enacted, would apply to those
states who currently participate in DST, which most states observe for eight
months out of the year. Standard Time, from November to March, is only observed
for four months out of the year. The bill would simply negate the need for
Americans to change their clocks twice a year. Many studies have shown that
making DST permanent could benefit the economy and the country. Daylight
Saving Time begins this Sunday, March 14, and lasts until Sunday, November
A one-pager of the bill is available HERE
“Extra sunshine in the evenings not only puts a
spring in our step and offers the perfect reason to get outside, but it
also positively impacts consumer spending and shifts energy consumption,” Senator
Markey said. “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. I am proud to have co-authored the
provision of the 2005 law that extended Daylight Saving Time by several weeks,
and I am now proud to sponsor the Sunshine Protection Act to add an extra hour
of sunshine for the full 365 days a year.”
“The call to end the antiquated practice of clock changing is gaining
momentum throughout the nation,” Senator Rubio said. “Studies have shown
many benefits of a year-round Daylight Saving Time, which is why the Florida
legislature voted to make it permanent in 2018. I’m proud to reintroduce this
bipartisan bill to make Daylight Saving Time permanent, and give our nation’s
families more stability throughout the year.”
“In a year that feels like it’s been in complete darkness, Senator Rubio and
I have provided a solution to provide more sunlight by making Daylight Saving
Time permanent,” Senator Lankford said. “I don’t know a parent of a young
child that would oppose getting rid of springing forward or falling back.
Congress created Daylight Saving decades ago as a wartime effort, now it is
well past time to lock the clock and end this experiment.”
“Americans’ lifestyles are very different than they were when Daylight
Saving Time began more than a century ago,” Senator Whitehouse said. “Making
Daylight Saving Time permanent will end the biannual disruptions to daily life
and give families more daylight hours to enjoy after work and school.”
“The Sunshine Protection Act takes a common-sense step to provide some
much-needed stability for families in Oregon and across the nation,” Senator
Wyden said. “Springing forward and falling back year after year only
creates unnecessary confusion while harming Americans’ health and our economy.
Making Daylight Saving permanent would give folks an hour back of sunshine
during the winter months when we need it most.”
“The public safety improvements, economic benefits, and the wellbeing of the
American people are all excellent and credible reasons to embrace year-long
Daylight Saving Time,” Senator Hyde-Smith said. “I know the
agricultural sector in Mississippi and across the nation desires this change. I
believe the Sunshine Protection Act would give us an immediate and long-term
boost after a terrible pandemic year and a very dark winter.”
“As Governor of Florida, I was proud to sign legislation to make Daylight
Saving Time permanent and I am continuing this effort in the Senate with my
colleague, Senator Rubio. Americans could use a little more sunshine after a
long winter and an entire year of staying indoors amid the coronavirus
pandemic,” Senator Scott said. “As our state works to fully reopen and
bring visitors back safely, this legislation will give families more time to
enjoy all that Florida has to offer.”
Potential effects of making Daylight
Saving Time permanent for the nation:
- Reduces car crashes and car accidents involving
pedestrians: better aligning daylight hours to drivers’ standard work hours’
increases visibility, according to the American Journal of Public Health and
the Journal of Safety Research. Also 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.
- Reduces risk for cardiac issues, stroke and seasonal depression.
- Reduces the number of robberies by 27 percent, according to
a 2015 Brookings Institution because of additional daylight in the evenings.
- Benefits the economy, according to a study by JP Morgan
Chase, which found that there is a drop in economic activity of 2.2 percent –
4.9 percent when clocks move back.
- Reduces childhood obesity and increases physical fitness,
according to studies published by the International Journal Behavioral
Nutrition and Physical Activity and the Journal of Physical Activity and
Health, children see an increase in physical activity during DST. The Journal
of Environmental Psychology found that DST increased pedestrian activity by 62%
and cyclists activity by 38% because of additional daylight.
- Benefits the agricultural economy, which is
disproportionately disrupted by biannual changes in time by upsetting the
synergy between farmers’ schedules and their supply chain partners.
- Reduces energy usage, a 2008 study by the U.S. Department
of Energy found that during the 4 weeks the U.S. extended daylight savings from
the 2005 law, there were savings of about 0.5 percent in electricity per day.
Later studies have also shown that the energy savings are minimal but a small
savings does occur.