The South Florida Sun Sentinel reports:
Florida Gov. Rick Scott has signed a bill that would give Florida Daylight Saving Time year round. It was one of 74 bills Scott signed into law on Friday but the “Sunshine Protection Act” won’t take effect unless Congress also changes federal law.
If that happens, Florida would join Hawaii and most of Arizona. Both are exempt from the Uniform Time Act of 1966. Floridians would no longer have to turn the clock back one hour in the fall. It would mean darker mornings and brighter evenings between November and March.
Following Florida’s lead, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla) has proposed making Daylight Saving Time permanent across the country. Rubio said federal approval of the Florida law would help the state’s agricultural economy, reduce traffic crashes, and boost health and fitness activities because there would be more sunlight and better visibility later in the day.
Florida hasn’t been alone in wanting more PM daylight between November and March. New England states, with their early winter sunsets, have pushed for permanent daylight saving time and even a shift ahead to Atlantic Standard Time.
The advantages: Businesses get a boost, as more commercial and recreational activity happens in the evening than the early morning. Earlier sunsets contribute to winter depression. It’s safer because there’s more daylight during a more heavily trafficked time of day.
The other side: State-specific time zones create regional headaches. This could get particularly onerous in the Northeast, where it’s common to cross state lines on the daily commute. And a separate time zone puts a state out of sync with the rest of the country. TV schedules get thrown off, and start times for national sports and entertainment events must be accommodated.