Hello sunshine? This bill could make daylight savings permanent in Florida

With Congressional approval, that is.

click to enlarge More of this please. - PublicDomainPictures.net
More of this please.

For sunshine lovers who just don't have it in them to get out of bed at dawn, it happens every year in Florida: that brutal combo of chilly weather, less daylight and an absurdly early sunset.

The six months out of the year in which Florida adheres to "standard" time rather than daylight saving time means sunshine-worshiping Floridians have to put up with vitamin D deficiency and the foreboding feeling that comes from commuting home in the dark at 5:30.

If a bill that's advancing in the Florida legislature passes, though, the Sunshine State may get some temporal relief.

The Florida Senate's version of the bill, sponsored in that chamber by Sarasota Republican Greg Steube, unanimously cleared a committee hearing Monday, and the House version is ready for a full floor vote as soon as Wednesday.

If it does pass, it would eradicate the need for Floridians to set their clocks back in the fall — and, after the initial 'spring forward,' move them forward in the spring.

The bill, dubbed the "Sunshine Protection Act" (SB 585), originally had also contained a provision that would have brought the entire state into the Eastern time zone. There are parts of the Panhandle adhere to Central time. But Steube removed that provision at the request of Panhandle Democrat Bill Montford, who said his constituents categorically did not want the change.

If approved and signed into law by Governor Rick Scott, the bill would then require approval from U.S. Congress. It's unclear how well such a bill would fare at the federal level, given the gridlock in D.C.

If the proposal does get congressional approval, Florida would join Hawaii and parts of Arizona — also states known for their sunny climes — in not participating in ritual clock-changing twice a year.

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