News & Politics

Senate Bill Would Make Daylight Saving Time Permanent

The "Sunshine Protection Act" would end the scourge of Standard Time, which the US observes for only four months each year.

Image by Jens Domschky/iStock.

A bipartisan group of US Senators has reintroduced a bill that would make Daylight Saving Time permanent. The “Sunshine Protection Act,” which you can read in full here and in summary here, would end the practice of “springing forward” and the puny four months that the US spends in Standard Time.

The bill’s sponsors are Senators Marco Rubio and Rick Scott of Florida, Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island, James Lankford of Oklahoma, Ed Markey of Massachusetts, Roy Blunt of Missouri, Cindy Hyde-Smith of Mississippi, and Ron Wyden of Oregon.

Florida passed a bill in 2018 that would make Daylight Saving Time permanent, but federal law will have to change to allow it. States can currently opt out of Daylight Saving Time, but not Standard Time. Among the Sunshine Protection Act’s potential benefits, according to Rubio: fewer accidents, more economic activity, and less energy usage.

Also, DC-area residents won’t have to face the chagrin of seeing the sun go down before 5 PM in December. As to the argument that kids will have to go to school before sunrise during winter? That’s true, Mark Joseph Stern argues in Slate, but it wouldn’t be the case if schools in the US followed advice from the American Academy of Pediatrics and opened after 8:30. Another opportunity presented by the Sunshine Protection Act!

Daylight Saving Time begins Sunday, March 14, at 2 AM. 

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Senior editor

Andrew Beaujon joined Washingtonian in late 2014. He was previously with the Poynter Institute, TBD.com, and Washington City Paper. His book A Bigger Field Awaits Us: The Scottish Soccer Team That Fought the Great War was published in 2018. He lives in Del Ray.