On Tuesday, the Senate approved a proposal that would make daylight saving time permanent. If this becomes law, it would mean Americans don’t have to set their clocks back when fall and winter come around.
If the proposal becomes law, this would also mean that people who wake up early from November to February would lose an hour’s worth of daylight.
Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) serves as the lead sponsor of this proposal. He laid down a range of benefits to adopting daylight savings permanently, including less seasonal affective disorder and more daylight for school sports.
— Senator Rubio Press (@SenRubioPress) March 15, 2022
“There’s strong science behind it that is now showing and making people aware of the harm that clock switching has, there’s an increase in heart attacks, car accidents and pedestrian accidents,” Rubio stated on the Senate floor.
“The benefits of daylight saving time has been accounted for in the research: Reduced crime as there is light later in the day, decrease in seasonal depression that many feel during standard time and the practical one,” he went on to say.
The senator also touted that it would provide schoolchildren more time to play outdoors in the daylight after school.
“In a country we desperately want our kids outside, playing, doing sports, not just to sit in front of a TV playing video games all day. It gets tough in many parts of the country to be able to do that. What ends up happening is for the 16 weeks of the year, if you don’t have a park or outdoor facility with lights, you’re basically shut down at 5 p.m., in some cases 4 p.m.,” Rubio claimed.
The Florida senator then urged for the House to swiftly deliberate on the proposal and pass it.
However, he did say that this would not take effect until 2023.
“I think it is important to delay it until Nov. 20, 2023, because airlines and other transportation has built out a schedule and they asked for a few months to make the adjustment,” the senator said.
Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), who serves as the Democratic lead sponsor of the proposal, mentioned that people in his home state would gladly welcome the passage of the measure.
“Pretty much everybody in Rhode Island experiences the same thing on that unhappy day in early November … when suddenly an hour of your day, an hour of your daylight disappears and dusk comes an hour earlier,” Whitehouse said.
“It does darken our lives in a very literal sense and by the time you get from November when we fall back to the shortest day of the year in December, the 21st I think it is, we have sunset in Rhode Island at 4:15,” he continued. “That means everybody is driving home if they work regular nine-to-five hours they’re driving home in the pitch dark.
“So let’s make it 5:15,” the senator from Rhode Island added. “Granted, there are people who are up between 6:30 and 7:30 in the morning who will then miss their hour of daylight but there are a lot fewer people up and about between 6:30 and 7:30 in the morning than there are between 4:15 and 5:15 in the afternoon.”