Sunshine Protection Act


The Sunshine Protection Act is a proposed United States federal law that would make U.S. daylight saving time permanent.[1][2][3]

Sunshine Protection Act
Long titleA bill to make daylight savings time permanent, and for other purposes.
Enacted bythe 117th United States Congress
Sponsored byVern Buchanan (RFL 16th)
Marco Rubio (RFL)
Number of co-sponsors23
Codification
Acts affectedUniform Time Act
Legislative history

Background


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.[4] 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daylight saving time modeled after European laws designed to save energy during World War I, but that component was repealed a year later due to protests by farmers.[4] Many states subsequently introduced daylight saving time, and in 1966, the Uniform Time Act standardized the dates when it begins and ends.[4] Hawaii, most of Arizona, and the U.S. territories have opted to observe permanent standard time,[5] but the Uniform Time Act forbids observation of permanent daylight saving time.[4]

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.[4] Researchers have also observed ill effects of standard time compared to daylight saving time, including increased crime,[6] more frequent traffic incidents, increased prevalence of seasonal depression,[7] and greater energy usage.[4]

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

Provisions


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 the states and territories that observe permanent standard time switch to permanent daylight saving time.[3]

Legislative history


The Sunshine Protection Act was first introduced in 2018 by U.S. senator Marco Rubio (RFL), modeled after a 2018 Florida bill of the same name.[9] U.S. president Donald Trump tweeted that he would be willing to sign it,[10] but it failed to advance.[9] A reintroduction in 2019 by Vern Buchanan (RFL 16th) similarly failed.[9] 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.[11]

The bill received bipartisan support, and was cosponsored in the Senate by James Lankford (ROK), Roy Blunt (RMO), Sheldon Whitehouse (DRI), Ron Wyden, (DOR); Cindy Hyde-Smith, (RMS), Rick Scott (RFL), and Ed Markey (DMA).[3]

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

(RFL 16th)

3 Died in committee
S. 2537 March 12, 2018 Marco Rubio

(RFL)

0 Died in committee
116th Congress Sunshine Protection Act of 2019 H.R. 1556 March 6, 2019 Vern Buchanan

(RFL 16th)

23 Died in committee
S. 670 March 6, 2019 Marco Rubio

(RFL)

13 Died in committee
117th Congress Sunshine Protection Act of 2021 H.R. 69 January 4, 2021 Vern Buchanan

(RFL 16th)

23 Referred to the Subcommittee on Consumer Protection and Commerce
S. 623 March 9, 2021 Marco Rubio

(RFL)

14 Referred to the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation

References


  1. Roop, Charles (March 16, 2021). "Permanent daylight saving time? What would it mean?". WCTV. Retrieved March 21, 2021.
  2. Ali, Shirin (March 11, 2021). "Senators once again introduce a bill to make Daylight Saving Time permanent". CNN. Retrieved March 21, 2021.
  3. O'Kane, Caitlin (March 10, 2021). "Group of bipartisan senators pushes for permanent Daylight Saving Time". CBS News. Retrieved March 21, 2021.
  4. Burdick, Alan (March 12, 2017). "Can We Fix Daylight-Saving Time for Good?". The New Yorker. Retrieved March 21, 2021.
  5. "Daylight Saving Time | State Legislation". National Conference of State Legislatures. Retrieved March 26, 2021.
  6. 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.
  7. Whelan, Catherine (March 13, 2021). "Some Senators Want Permanent Daylight Saving Time". NPR. Retrieved March 22, 2021.
  8. Goble, Keith (March 8, 2019). "Action pursued in 30 states to end time changes". Land Line. Retrieved November 4, 2019.
  9. 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.
  10. "Trump: Making daylight saving time permanent is 'OK with me'". Associated Press. March 11, 2019. Retrieved March 22, 2021.
  11. "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.