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.
Enacted bythe 117th United States Congress
Sponsored byMarco Rubio (RFL)
Number of co-sponsors18
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 a year.[1][2][3][4]

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.[5] 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daylight saving time modeled after European laws designed to save energy during World War I, but that component was repealed a year later due to protests by farmers.[5] Many states subsequently introduced daylight saving time, and in 1966, the Uniform Time Act standardized the dates when it begins and ends.[5] Hawaii, most of Arizona, and the U.S. territories have opted to observe permanent standard time,[6] but the Uniform Time Act forbids observation of permanent daylight saving time.[5]

The Emergency Daylight Saving Time Energy Conservation Act (1973) enacted year-round Daylight Saving Time for a two-year experiment between January 6, 1974, and April 7, 1975, but Congress later ended the experiment early on October 27, 1974, and did not make it permanent[7] due to concerns about darkness on winter mornings.[8]

Researchers have observed numerous ill effects of the annual transitions between daylight saving time and standard time. These include reduced worker productivity, increased heart attacks and strokes, and increased traffic incidents.[5] Researchers have also observed ill effects of standard time compared to daylight saving time,[9] including increased crime,[10] more frequent traffic incidents, increased prevalence of seasonal depression,[11][12][failed verification] and greater energy usage.[5][failed verification] One of the most common arguments amongst researchers of varying backgrounds is that the change itself causes most of the negative effects, more so than either standard time or daylight savings time.[1] Medical accidents due to increased fatigue among healthcare workers also has been reported.[13]

In the late 2010s, resolutions were passed in more than 30 states advocating for the federal government to abolish the annual transitions.[14] Numerous polls have found that a very high number of Americans polled 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 or not the desired fixed time ought to be permanent daylight savings time, or permanent standard time.[15]

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.[4]

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.[16] U.S. president Donald Trump tweeted that he would be willing to sign it,[17] but it failed to advance.[16] A reintroduction in 2019 by Vern Buchanan (R‑FL 16th) similarly failed.[16] The 2021 iteration was filed in the U.S. House of Representatives by Buchanan on January 4, 2021,[3] and in the U.S. Senate by Rubio on March 9, 2021.[18]

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).[4] It passed the Senate by unanimous consent on March 15, 2022.[19] 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.[20][21] The bill faces uncertain prospects in the House.[22]

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) 46 Referred to the Subcommittee on Consumer Protection and Commerce
S. 623 March 9, 2021 Marco Rubio (R‑FL) 18 Passed the Senate on March 15, 2022, by unanimous consent

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. ^ Roop, Charles (March 16, 2021). "Permanent daylight saving time? What would it mean?". WCTV. Retrieved March 21, 2021.
  3. ^ a b Ali, Shirin (March 11, 2021). "Senators once again introduce a bill to make Daylight Saving Time permanent". CNN. Retrieved March 21, 2021.
  4. ^ a b c O'Kane, Caitlin (March 10, 2021). "Group of bipartisan senators pushes for permanent Daylight Saving Time". CBS News. Retrieved March 21, 2021.
  5. ^ 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.
  6. ^ "Daylight Saving Time | State Legislation". National Conference of State Legislatures. Retrieved March 26, 2021.
  7. ^ Steade, Susan (October 30, 2016). "The year Daylight Saving Time went too far". The Mercury News.
  8. ^ 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.
  9. ^ "Time Well Spent: An Economic Analysis of Daylight Saving Time Legislation". Wake Forest Law Review. January 19, 2008. Retrieved March 7, 2022.
  10. ^ 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.
  11. ^ Smith, Ray A. (October 26, 2020). "Why the Time Change Is Trickier When Working From Home". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved June 12, 2022.
  12. ^ Whelan, Catherine (March 13, 2021). "Some Senators Want Permanent Daylight Saving Time". NPR. Retrieved March 22, 2021.
  13. ^ Kolla, B; Coombes, B.J.; Morgenthaler, T.I.; Mansukhani, M.P. "0173 Spring Forward, Fall Back: Increased Patient Safety-Related Adverse Events Following the Spring Time Change". academic.oup.com. Sleep Research Society. Retrieved March 21, 2022.
  14. ^ Goble, Keith (March 8, 2019). "Action pursued in 30 states to end time changes". Land Line. Retrieved November 4, 2019.
  15. ^ Benz, Jennifer; Connelly, Marjorie; Tompson, Trevor. "Dislike for changing the clocks persists". apnorc.org. Associated Press. Retrieved March 21, 2022.
  16. ^ 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.
  17. ^ "Trump: Making daylight saving time permanent is 'OK with me'". Associated Press. March 11, 2019. Retrieved March 22, 2021.
  18. ^ "S.623 - 117th Congress (2021-2022): A bill to make daylight saving time permanent, and for other purposes". Congress.gov. United States Congress. March 9, 2021. Retrieved March 31, 2021.
  19. ^ Reichert, Corinne (March 15, 2022). "Senate Unanimously Passes Bill to Make Daylight Saving Time Permanent". CNET. Retrieved March 15, 2022.
  20. ^ 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.
  21. ^ 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.
  22. ^ 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.

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