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Will Florida Fall Back?

Sunday, November 3 at 2am marks the end of daylight saving time for much of the United States. Will Florida be joining in on the switch?

Daylight saving time was originally adopted in 1918 during World War I as an effort to save energy. Forty-eight years later, the Uniform Time Act of 1966 established the day and time of the switch for all states that participated. The act also allows states to opt out of daylight saving time. Arizona, Hawaii, and other territories have done so.

According to Florida’s Sunshine Protection Act of 2018, Florida joined these states, but in a different way. The act was signed into law by then governor, Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Florida and looks to convert Florida to daylight saving time permanently. This isn’t an available option under the federal act. Congress would need to amend the federal daylight saving law to exempt states from standard time.

The Sunshine Protection Act touts several benefits of the permanent change. Among the sited benefits are a reduction in car accidents, robberies, childhood obesity, and energy usage. More importantly, the law could stimulate an increase in economic activity. Congressman Vern Buchanan, R-Sarasota, has joined Sen. Marco Rubio in the push for congressional approval.

As beneficial as it may seem, Florida isn’t the only one that would be affected by the change. Interstate commerce would have to adapt to the fact that during the winter Florida would not fall into the Eastern Time Zone. Florida time would be one hour ahead of other Atlantic coast states.

Only time will tell if the Sunshine Protection Act will go into effect. For now, Florida will be joining the majority of the United States in turning back their clocks in 2019.

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