Rubio, Scott bill would keep U.S. on Daylight Savings Time during pandemic


In this Thursday, July 25, 2019 photo, workers at the Electric Time Company in Medfield, Mass., test a 20 foot high clock, built for the a new train station in Bangkok, Thailand, prior to packing and shipment. The clock features a “9” in Thai number script. Daylight saving time ends at 2 a.m. local time Sunday, Nov. 3, 2019, when clocks are set back one hour. Losing an hour of daylight sounds like a gloomy preview for the dark winter months, and at least one study found an increase in people seeking help for depression after turning the clocks back to standard time in November _ in Scandinavia. But far more research says that the springtime start of daylight saving time may be more harmful, linking it with more car accidents, heart attacks in vulnerable people and other health problems that may persist throughout the time change. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – U.S. Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Rick Scott (R-FL) have introduced legislation that would allow the United States to stay on Daylight Savings Time through Nov. 7, 2021.

In six weeks, the United States will “fall back” one hour to return to Standard Time, but things will seem different this year as more Americans work from home and grapple with virtual-learning and other pandemic-related disruptions.

“Our government has asked a lot of the American people over the past seven months, and keeping the nation on Daylight Saving Time is just one small step we can take to help ease the burden,” Rubio said. “More daylight in the after school hours is critical to helping families and children endure this challenging school year. Studies have shown many benefits of a year-round Daylight Saving Time, and while I believe we should make it permanent all year around, I urge my colleagues to — at the very least — work with me to avoid changing the clocks this fall.”

Rubio and Scott have made the case for extending Daylight Savings Time, saying it will benefit the economy, reduce crime and vehicle collisions, as well as the risk for certain health issues, including childhood obesity, and help ease the mental health crisis.

“After months of staying inside amid the coronavirus pandemic, families across the nation could use a little more sunshine and time to enjoy all that Florida has to offer,” Scott said. “I signed legislation as Governor to continue Daylight Saving Time year-round for Floridians, and I’m glad to join Senator Rubio to lead this effort in Congress.”

In 2018, the Florida legislature voted to make Daylight Savings Time permanent in the state, and 11 other states—Delaware, Louisiana, Maine, Oregon, South Carolina, Tennessee, Utah, Washington, Arkansas, Alabama, and Wyoming — have passed similar laws. In 2019, Rubio and Rep. Vern Buchanan both introduced legislation to allow the law to take effect, but lawmakers have yet to have a hearing on the bill.

Rubio is expected to “Rule 14” the bill, which means it will bypass the Senate Committee on Commerce and be placed directly on the Senate Calendar.

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