Senate advances bill to make daylight saving time permanent, end 'falling back' forever

The Sunshine Protection Act now heads to the House.

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Tuesday, March 15, 2022
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WASHINGTON -- Now that Americans have set their clocks to "spring forward" one hour, some lawmakers are hoping that the country will never have to switch back to standard time ever again.

The Senate on Tuesday voted unanimously to pass the Sunshine Protection Act in an effort to make daylight saving time permanent across the U.S.

Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., and fellow Florida Republican Sen. Rick Scott, as well as bipartisan colleagues from Oklahoma, Missouri, Rhode Island, Oregon, Mississippi and Massachusetts, reintroduced the bill after its repeated failure to make it to the president's desk.

The bill now heads to the House.

"If the House follows the lead of the Senate, we can really make this happen. No more changing clocks. No more dark afternoons in the winter. No more losing an hour of sleep every spring. Let's get this to [President Joe Biden's] desk," Sen. Patty Murray, D-WA, tweeted.

The legislation would not affect states that observes standard time but instead gives states the power to make the change.

If the measure isn't signed into law in time, daylight saving time will end on Sunday, Nov. 7.

Meet 'Clock Man,' who advances the clocks at Philadelphia City Hall for Daylight Saving.

A bill to allow Florida to remain on daylight saving time year-round was signed into law in 2018, but for Florida's change to apply, the federal statute must be changed, Rubio said.

"Fifteen other states -- Arkansas, Alabama, California, Delaware, Georgia, Idaho, Louisiana, Maine, Ohio, Oregon, South Carolina, Tennessee, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming -- have passed similar laws, resolutions or voter initiatives, and dozens more are looking," Rubio said in a statement.

Rubio's statement said the change could bring improvements, including shrinking seasonal depression, reducing car accidents by better aligning daylight hours with commuting times, cutting down on robberies by adding more daylight hours and lowering childhood obesity by adding more time for physical fitness.

In 1966, President Lyndon Johnson signed a law stating that daylight saving time begins on the last Sunday of April and ends on the last Sunday in October of each year, according to NASA.

The law was amended in 1986, and daylight saving time officially began on the first Sunday in April, but the end date remained the same.

In 2005, President George W. Bush signed an energy policy bill that would extend daylight saving time by four weeks, beginning on the second Sunday of March, according to NASA. That law went into effect in 2007.

A poll conducted last October shows that most Americans want to avoid switching between daylight saving and standard time, though there is no consensus behind which should be used all year.

The poll from The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research found only 25% of Americans said they preferred to switch back and forth between standard and daylight saving time.

Forty-three percent of Americans said they would like to see standard time used during the entire year. Thirty-two percent say they would prefer that daylight saving time be used all year.

According to the American Heart Association, in addition to fatigue, the transition can also affect your heart and brain. Hospital admissions for an irregular heartbeat pattern known as atrial fibrillation, as well as heart attacks and strokes, increase in the first few days of daylight saving time.

No time change is observed in Hawaii, most of Arizona, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, American Samoa, Guam and the Northern Marianas.

The Associated Press and ABC News contributed to this report.