State lawmaker: Make Daylight Saving Time permanent

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Contrary to popular belief, no federal rule mandates that states or territories observe daylight saving time.

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - Two weeks from Saturday, most Floridians will set their clocks back an hour. But one state senator wants to keep Daylight Saving Time permanent, hoping the spring forward-fall back of time comes to an end.

Fall is the time for shorter days. The semiannual ritual first surfaced in World War I and returned in World War II. But it wasn't until 1966 that permanent dates were set for springing forward or falling back.

Florida Sen. Daren Soto, D-Orlando, believes the clock changing has outlived its usefulness.

"I think that sunshine is big business here in the state of Florida, and an extra hour during the winter time certainly would help out business, and it's also a quality life issue for Floridians."

Some golf pros agree.

"If I worked until five o'clock, I'd have a couple of hours to at least go out and enjoy the golf course after work," Jason Bench said.

"As a business, we would therefore make more money, which would then impact the economy, which in all would be great for everybody," Kayla Pun said.

Come Thanksgiving, and after the clocks are rolled back, the sun will start rising just after 7:30 a.m. Keeping Daylight Saving Time would push sunrise to 8:30 a.m. and beyond.

The last time Florida debated the question of time was during the energy crisis of 1974. Congress ordered clocks ahead to save energy.

But school kids and dark bus stops didn't mix. Eleven were killed or injured within a month.

In the end, lawmakers left time alone. But Soto believes it's time to debate the question again.

"I don't know if it serves a purpose anymore," he said.

Soto expects the idea to get a hearing but said it could take a year or two more to pass.

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