Turning clocks forward in the spring and back in the fall could become a thing of the past for Floridians if a proposed bill in the state legislature moves forward.
State Sen. Greg Steube, a Republican from Sarasota, has filed SB 858, which if passed would make Florida just the third state after Hawaii and Arizona to opt out of observing daylight savings time. Steube’s bill would require each of the state’s 67 counties and 410 cities, towns, and villages to observe standard time year-round.
Congress adopted a nationwide daylight savings time with the Uniform Time Act of 1966, but included a provision allowing states to opt out of the scheme. Hawaii opted out as the law took effect in 1967 and Arizona followed suit one year later.
Efforts to get Florida on a single clock year-round are nothing new, though. Legislators have tried unsuccessfully to opt out of daylight savings time — or to adopt daylight savings time year-round — several times in recent years. Proponents of staying on a single time standard year-round argue that Florida doesn’t have as much of a need to change the clock as other states might. Because of its southern location closer to the equator, the length of Florida’s days doesn’t vary as much as they do elsewhere in the United States.
Should Steube’s bill become law, it would take effect on Jan. 1, 2019.