Sunshine Protection Act

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Sunshine Protection Act
Great Seal of the United States
Long titleAn Act to make daylight saving time permanent, and for other purposes.
Announced inthe 118th United States Congress
Sponsored byMarco Rubio (RFL), Vern Buchanan (RFL 16th)
Number of co-sponsors20 (House), 14 (Senate)
Codification
Acts affectedUniform Time Act
Legislative history

The Sunshine Protection Act is a proposed United States federal law that would make U.S. daylight saving time permanent, meaning the time would no longer change twice per year.[1][2] The bill has been proposed during several sessions of Congress. In 2022, the Senate passed the bill by unanimous consent, although several senators stated later that they would have objected if they had known that the bill could pass. No iteration of the bill has passed the House.

Background[edit]

The Ohio Clock in the U.S. Capitol being turned forward for the first U.S. daylight saving time on March 31, 1918.

Time zones were first introduced in the United States in 1883 by railroad companies.[3] In 1918, they were codified into federal law by the Standard Time Act, which also included a provision for nationwide daylight saving time modeled after European laws designed to save energy during World War I, but that component was repealed a year later due to protests by farmers.[3] Many states subsequently introduced daylight saving time, and in 1966, the Uniform Time Act standardized the dates when it begins and ends.[3] Hawaii, most of Arizona, and the U.S. territories have opted to observe permanent standard time,[4] but the Uniform Time Act forbids observation of permanent daylight saving time.[3]

The Emergency Daylight Saving Time Energy Conservation Act enacted year-round daylight saving time for a two-year experiment from January 6, 1974, to April 7, 1975, but Congress later ended the experiment early on October 27, 1974, and did not make it permanent[5] due to unfavorable public opinion, especially regarding concerns about children walking to school and waiting for school buses on dark winter mornings.[6][7]

In the late 2010s, resolutions were passed in more than 30 states advocating for the federal government to abolish the annual transitions.[8]

Provisions[edit]

The Sunshine Protection Act would establish a permanent daylight saving time in the U.S., leading to later sunrises and sunsets during the four months in which most of the U.S. currently observes standard time, resulting in less sunlight in the morning hours and more sunlight in the evening ones. It would not mandate that states and territories that observe permanent standard time (American Samoa, most of Arizona, Guam, Hawaii, Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands) switch to permanent daylight saving time.[9]

Legislative history[edit]

The Sunshine Protection Act was first introduced in 2018 by U.S. senator Marco Rubio (R‑FL), modeled after a 2018 Florida bill of the same name.[10] U.S. president Donald Trump tweeted that he would be willing to sign it,[11] but it failed to advance.[10] A reintroduction in 2019 by Vern Buchanan (R‑FL 16th) similarly failed.[10]

The 2021 iteration was filed in the U.S. House of Representatives by Buchanan on January 4, 2021,[2] and in the U.S. Senate by Rubio on March 9, 2021. The bill received bipartisan support, and was cosponsored in the Senate by James Lankford (R‑OK), Roy Blunt (R‑MO), Sheldon Whitehouse (D‑RI), Ron Wyden, (D‑OR); Cindy Hyde-Smith, (R‑MS), Rick Scott (R‑FL), and Ed Markey (D‑MA).[9] It passed the Senate by unanimous consent on March 15, 2022.[12] Two days later, BuzzFeed News reported that many senators were not aware that a request had been made for the bill to pass via unanimous consent and were not ready to raise an objection. Rubio's office had notified every other senator's office of the request; however, it is a frequent occurrence for legislative staff to "vet the request" themselves to "decide if an issue is too benign or obviously doomed to bother their boss with." BuzzFeed identified Tom Cotton (R‑AR) as a senator who, according to a member of his staff, was vehemently opposed to the bill and would have objected to its passage had he been informed of it.[13][14] Upon being passed by the Senate, the bill faced uncertain prospects in the House.[15][16] Ultimately, the 117th Congress ended without the House voting on the bill.[17]

A 2023 bill has been introduced, but is at a standstill for the time being. As of November 10, 2023, the full history is as follows:

Congress Short title Bill number(s) Date introduced Sponsor(s) # of cosponsors Latest status
115th Congress Sunshine Protection Act of 2018 H.R. 5279 March 14, 2018 Vern Buchanan (R‑FL 16th) 3 Died in committee
S. 2537 March 12, 2018 Marco Rubio (R‑FL) 0 Died in committee
116th Congress Sunshine Protection Act of 2019 H.R. 1556 March 6, 2019 Vern Buchanan (R‑FL 16th) 23 Died in committee
S. 670 March 6, 2019 Marco Rubio (R‑FL) 13 Died in committee
117th Congress Sunshine Protection Act of 2021 H.R. 69 January 4, 2021 Vern Buchanan (R‑FL 16th) 48 Died in committee
S. 623 March 9, 2021 Marco Rubio (R‑FL) 18 Passed Senate; died in the House
118th Congress Sunshine Protection Act of 2023 H.R. 1279 March 1, 2023 Vern Buchanan (R‑FL 16th) 33 Referred to the Subcommittee on Innovation, Data, and Commerce
S. 582 March 1, 2023 Marco Rubio (R‑FL) 16 Referred to the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation

Debate[edit]

The debate over the bill mainly concerns the effects on human health, traffic accidents, and whether it is better to have more sunlight in the morning or the evening.

Numerous polls have found that a very high number of Americans believe that a standard time should be fixed and permanent—as many as 75% favor no longer changing clocks twice per year—however there is no consensus on whether the desired fixed time should be daylight saving time or standard time.[18] One of the most common arguments among researchers of varying backgrounds is that the change itself causes most of the negative effects, more so than either standard time or daylight saving time.[1] Researchers have observed numerous ill effects of the annual transitions, including reduced worker productivity, increased heart attacks and strokes, increased medical errors,[19] and increased traffic incidents.[3]

Opponents of the Sunshine Protection Act argue permanent standard time would be more beneficial to health and human welfare.[20][21] Numerous health specialists, safety experts, and research societies consider permanent standard time better for health, safety, schools, and the economy.[22][23][24][25][26][27][28][29][30][excessive citations] This happens partly because standard time aligns with the natural circadian cycle, whereas daylight saving time is an hour ahead. The closer harmony between standard time and biology contributes to safer morning commutes,[22][31] improved student welfare,[32][33] practicability of certain religious practices (such as in Orthodox Judaism and Islam),[34][35][36][37][excessive citations] increased exposure to healthy morning sunlight,[23] and higher productivity and wages.[38] However, advocates of permanent daylight saving time argue it has its own benefits[39] including decreased crime,[40] less frequent traffic incidents, and decreased prevalence of seasonal depression.[41][42] Research is unclear about which time setting conserves more energy.[3][43][44][45][excessive citations]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Soave, Robby (March 15, 2022). "The Senate Unanimously Voted To Make Daylight Saving Time Permanent, a Great Idea". Reason. Retrieved June 12, 2022.
  2. ^ a b Ali, Shirin (March 11, 2021). "Senators once again introduce a bill to make Daylight Saving Time permanent". CNN. Retrieved March 21, 2021.
  3. ^ a b c d e f Burdick, Alan (March 12, 2017). "Can We Fix Daylight-Saving Time for Good?". The New Yorker. Retrieved March 21, 2021.
  4. ^ "Daylight Saving Time | State Legislation". National Conference of State Legislatures. Retrieved March 26, 2021.
  5. ^ Steade, Susan (October 30, 2016). "The year Daylight Saving Time went too far". The Mercury News.
  6. ^ Ripley, Anthony (October 1, 1974). "Senate Votes Return to Standard Time For Four Months and Sends Bill to Ford". New York Times. Retrieved March 15, 2022.
  7. ^ Clark, James (October 31, 2018). "Daylight Saving Year-Round: Once a Disaster, Always a Disaster". Orlando Sentinel. Archived from the original on January 3, 2020. Retrieved April 23, 2020.
  8. ^ Goble, Keith (March 8, 2019). "Action pursued in 30 states to end time changes". Land Line. Retrieved November 4, 2019.
  9. ^ a b O'Kane, Caitlin (March 10, 2021). "Group of bipartisan senators pushes for permanent Daylight Saving Time". CBS News. Retrieved March 21, 2021.
  10. ^ a b c Derby, Kevin (March 10, 2021). "Marco Rubio, Rick Scott Bring Back Proposal to Make Daylight Saving Time Permanent in Florida". Florida Daily. Retrieved March 22, 2021.
  11. ^ "Trump: Making daylight saving time permanent is 'OK with me'". Associated Press. March 11, 2019. Retrieved March 22, 2021.
  12. ^ Reichert, Corinne (March 15, 2022). "Senate Unanimously Passes Bill to Make Daylight Saving Time Permanent". CNET. Retrieved March 15, 2022.
  13. ^ McLeod, Paul (March 17, 2022). "Everyone was surprised by the Senate passing permanent daylight saving time. Especially the senators". BuzzFeed News. Archived from the original on March 18, 2022. Retrieved March 21, 2022.
  14. ^ Kennedy, Brigid (March 17, 2022). "The quirky process the Senate used to pass permanent daylight savings". The Week. Archived from the original on March 18, 2022. Retrieved March 21, 2022.
  15. ^ Diamond, Dan (March 19, 2022). "Senate plan for permanent daylight saving time faces doubts in the House". The Washington Post. Archived from the original on March 20, 2022. Retrieved March 21, 2022.
  16. ^ Schnell, Mychael (November 5, 2022). "Time is running out for House to pass permanent daylight saving bill". The Hill. Retrieved November 5, 2022.
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  18. ^ Benz, Jennifer; Connelly, Marjorie; Tompson, Trevor (November 5, 2021). "Dislike for changing the clocks persists". apnorc.org. Associated Press. Retrieved March 21, 2022.
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  21. ^ Medicine, American Academy of Sleep (May 23, 2022). "American Academy of Sleep Medicine opposes permanent daylight saving time bill". GlobeNewswire News Room (Press release). Retrieved November 6, 2022.
  22. ^ a b Rishi, Muhammad Adeel; Ahmed, Omer; Barrantes Perez, Jairo H.; Berneking, Michael; Dombrowsky, Joseph; Flynn-Evans, Erin E.; Santiago, Vicente; Sullivan, Shannon S.; Upender, Raghu; Yuen, Kin; Abbasi-Feinberg, Fariha; Aurora, R. Nisha; Carden, Kelly A.; Kirsch, Douglas B.; Kristo, David A.; Malhotra, Raman K.; Martin, Jennifer L.; Olson, Eric J.; Ramar, Kannan; Rosen, Carol L.; Rowley, James A.; Shelgikar, Anita V.; Gurubhagavatula, Indira (October 2020). "Daylight Saving Time: an American Academy of Sleep Medicine Position Statement". Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine. 16 (10): 1781–1784. doi:10.5664/jcsm.8780. PMC 7954020. PMID 32844740.
  23. ^ a b "Year-Round Daylight Time Will Cause 'Permanent Jet Lag,' Sleep Experts Warn in Letter to Government". CBC News. October 31, 2019. Archived from the original on August 6, 2020. Retrieved April 23, 2020.
  24. ^ "Turn Back the Clock on Daylight Savings: Why Standard Time All Year Round Is the Healthy Choice". The Globe and Mail. November 2, 2019. Archived from the original on March 8, 2020. Retrieved April 23, 2020.
  25. ^ "Position statement of the Canadian sleep society on the practice of daylight saving time (DST)". css-scs.ca. Canadian Sleep Society. 2021. Archived from the original on November 12, 2021. Retrieved November 12, 2021.
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  27. ^ Ogliore, Talia (October 24, 2019). "WashU Expert: This Year, Let's Make Standard Time Permanent". The Source. Archived from the original on May 11, 2020. Retrieved April 23, 2020.
  28. ^ Roenneberg, Till; Wirz-Justice, Anna; Skene, Debra J.; Ancoli-Israel, Sonia; Wright, Kenneth P.; Dijk, Derk-Jan; Zee, Phyllis; Gorman, Michael R.; Winnebeck, Eva C.; Klerman, Elizabeth B. (June 6, 2019). "Why Should We Abolish Daylight Saving Time?". Journal of Biological Rhythms. 34 (3): 227–230. doi:10.1177/0748730419854197. PMC 7205184. PMID 31170882.
  29. ^ "To the EU Commission on DST" (PDF). sltbr.org. Society for Light Treatment and Biological Rhythms. 2020. Archived (PDF) from the original on October 14, 2021. Retrieved November 12, 2021.
  30. ^ "Daylight Saving Time Presskit". srbr.org. Society for Research on Biological Rhythms. 2019. Archived from the original on February 24, 2021. Retrieved February 13, 2021.
  31. ^ Achenbach, Joel (March 8, 2019). "Springing forward to daylight saving time is obsolete, confusing and unhealthy, critics say". The Washington Post. Archived from the original on January 30, 2020. Retrieved April 23, 2020.
  32. ^ Jenkins, Evan (January 31, 1974). "Schools Ask End to Daylight Time". The New York Times. Archived from the original on March 9, 2020. Retrieved April 23, 2020.
  33. ^ "Permanent Daylight Savings May Cancel Out Changes to School Start Times". Cell Press. April 22, 2019. Archived from the original on November 1, 2020. Retrieved April 23, 2020.
  34. ^ Cohen, Benyamin (April 24, 2019). "Do We Still Need Daylight Saving Time?". Mother Nature Network. Archived from the original on March 8, 2020. Retrieved April 23, 2020.
  35. ^ Eller, Sandy (March 13, 2018). "Florida's Proposed Change to Permanent Daylight Savings Time Could Create Halachic Problems for Jewish Community". Vos Iz Neias. Archived from the original on May 29, 2020. Retrieved April 23, 2020.
  36. ^ "Orthodox Group Asks Congressman to Withdraw Year-round Daylight Time Bill". Jewish Telegraph Agency. July 19, 1972. Archived from the original on January 1, 2020. Retrieved April 23, 2020.
  37. ^ "Professing Faith: History of daylight saving time with a note on its impact on Ramadan". Redlands Daily Facts. MediaNews Group. March 16, 2017. Retrieved November 6, 2022.
  38. ^ Roenneberg, Till; Winnebeck, Eva C.; Klerman, Elizabeth B. (August 7, 2019). "Daylight Saving Time and Artificial Time Zones – A Battle Between Biological and Social Times". Frontiers in Physiology. 10: 944. doi:10.3389/fphys.2019.00944. PMC 6692659. PMID 31447685.
  39. ^ "Time Well Spent: An Economic Analysis of Daylight Saving Time Legislation". Wake Forest Law Review. January 19, 2008. Retrieved March 7, 2022.
  40. ^ Doleac, Jennifer L.; Sanders, Nicholas J. (December 2015). "Under the Cover of Darkness: How Ambient Light Influences Criminal Activity". Review of Economics and Statistics. 97 (5): 1093–1103. doi:10.1162/REST_a_00547. S2CID 57566972.
  41. ^ Smith, Ray A. (October 26, 2020). "Why the Time Change Is Trickier When Working From Home". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved June 12, 2022.
  42. ^ Hansen, Bertel T.; Sønderskov, Kim M.; Hageman, Ida; Dinesen, Peter T.; Østergaard, Søren D. (May 2017). "Daylight Savings Time Transitions and the Incidence Rate of Unipolar Depressive Episodes". Epidemiology. 28 (3): 346–353. doi:10.1097/EDE.0000000000000580. PMID 27775953. S2CID 4924028.
  43. ^ Pappas, Stephanie (November 2, 2016). "Does Daylight Saving Time Really Save Energy?". Live Science. Retrieved October 27, 2022.
  44. ^ Porter, Catherine (March 9, 2008). "Why daylight saving time is bad for the environment". The Star. Archived from the original on January 1, 2020. Retrieved April 23, 2020.
  45. ^ Livingston, Amy (2016). "Is Daylight Savings Time Helpful or Harmful? – History & Effects". Money Crashers. Archived from the original on December 25, 2019. Retrieved April 23, 2020.

External links[edit]