Q&A – Florida’s Sunshine Protection Act And States That Don’t Fall Back

Today’s entry - Hi Brian, following your piece on DST, it was clear that you don't like changing the clocks twice a year, and you are advocating for (at least) Florida not doing it. It was not so clear but it seems your preference is to stay on DST year-round rather than off it. The understanding I got is that there are economic benefits to staying on DST rather than staying off it. When we are on DST we are 4 hours behind UTC. When we are off it, we are 5 hours behind. So that means you are saying we are better off economically when we are 4 hours behind UTC as opposed to 5. So, that raises the question, if we want to use a year-round time offset that gives us an economic improvement, who's to say that 4 hours is the best offset? But wait, we still have to deal with other states who have their own offsets.

Bottom Line: While discussing time changes last week, I cited Florida’s Sunshine Protection Act. What I realized with your note is that many might not be aware of what’s in it, what’s already happened in Florida, and the final step required to end time changes in Florida. Florida’s Sunshine Protection Act calls for an end to time changes and would leave Florida permanently on Daylight Saving Time. It’s already the law of the land in Florida having passed in 2017, so it’s well beyond the theoretical stages. The reason nothing has changed, or should I say continues to change, is due to federal supremacy on the issue. Congress and the President must sign the bill into law. 

Rick Scott was a key proponent of the Sunshine Protection Act as Governor and has taken a similar role in Congress on the issue. Both he and Senator Marco Rubio have sponsored the federal companion bill to Florida’s law in the Senate and have gained several supporters outside of Florida who’ve indicated they’d go along with our state’s wishes. Additionally, President Trump has indicated he’s supportive and would sign the bill into law if/when it arrives on his desk. That leaves the House as the biggest sticking point right now. While Florida’s Act isn’t a partisan issue, Florida’s Republicans have generally been the biggest supporters of moving this forward and with Speaker Nancy Pelosi setting the House’s agenda. Clearly the House’s priorities aren’t centered around this or any number of other issues other than impeachment which is why it’s important for Floridians to get in touch with their House Representatives in Congress, especially Democrats, and have them make this a priority. 

As for whether something other than DST would provide more benefit, that may or may not be the case but it’s not worth delving into at this time. It’d all be theoretical; Florida’s Sunshine Protection Act isn’t. It’s the law in Florida and we simply need a final push to get it across the finish line in Congress.

Submit your questions using one of these methods. 

Email: brianmudd@iheartmedia.com

Twitter: @brianmuddradio

Facebook: Brian Mudd https://www.facebook.com/brian.mudd1

Photo By: Getty Images

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