Senator Marco Rubio reintroduced the bill on March 9, 2021. courtesy

Sunshine Protection Act approved by Senate

The bill would make Daylight Saving Time permanent in the U.S. year-round.

The Sunshine Protection Act was passed in the Senate with unanimous consent on March 15. This bill will end the commonly hated practice of changing the clocks twice a year and make Daylight Saving Time permanent across the country — if it survives in the House of Representatives and President Joe Biden gives his approval.

The bill was reintroduced by Sen. Marco Rubio and cosponsored by several colleagues on March 9 last year. “Studies have shown many benefits of a year-round Daylight Saving Time, which is why the Florida legislature voted to make it permanent in 2018. I’m proud to reintroduce this bipartisan bill to make Daylight Saving Time permanent, and give our nation’s families more stability throughout the year,” Rubio stated.

There are many benefits to having permanent Daylight Saving Time year-round. From November to March, the sun would rise and set an hour later than what we’re used to because these are the months that we observe Standard Time. If the bill is passed, daylight will be shifted forward an hour during these months and most of the U.S. will get to experience sunset after 5 p.m. near the winter solstice.

Soma Therapy Owner Jenny Helms said, “Brighter evenings in the winter could be beneficial to some people with seasonal depression, as the permanent daylight saving would make the most change in the winter.” She stated “So, if we are having more time during the day where we have more access to sunlight, that is going to decrease the rates of seasonal effective disorder.”

Experiencing daylight later in the evenings during colder months would allow those who work and go to school time to enjoy the daylight, as many people are preoccupied inside for the limited amount of daylight available during winter months.

The downside to ditching Standard Time completely is the later sunrise around the winter solstice. Many senators praise the idea of extra sunlight during winter months, but there will not actually be more daylight. If the sun sets later in the day, the sun will rise later in the morning. The change would cause sunrise to occur after 9 a.m. for some in the U.S. during January.

This could be problematic for kids going to school early in the morning and annoying for adults going to work in the dark. The alternative many have proposed is making Standard Time permanent, as they prefer to have daylight in the morning rather than the evening but still hate changing the clocks twice a year. However, supporters of the Sunshine Protection Act prefer to have daylight later in the evening so the days don’t feel so short.

Post Author: Shelby Hiens