Year-round daylight-saving time? Florida lawmaker pushes 'Sunshine Protection' bill

Orlando state senator doesn't want to 'fall back' in November

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - A Florida state senator doesn't want to "fall back" in November.

Sen. Darren Soto filed a bill in February that would mandate that Florida keep its clock in daylight saving time year-round.

The Orlando Democrat said he sponsored the bill (SB 734) because he gets frustrated that it gets dark earlier during the winter. The bill is called the "Sunshine Protection Act."

"Daylight savings time was originally set up for farmers so that they would have more time in the morning to go out to the crops and push it back out into the marketplace, where they could sell it in the afternoon," said Channel 4 Chief Meteorologist, John Gaughn.

Florida, like most other states in the country, follows the pattern of moving clocks ahead one hour in March, then reverting to standard time in November.

Soto has little hope his bill will get passed this year, but said he wants to start a discussion about daylight-saving time. Soto also said there is a question whether it's legal under federal law for Florida to keep itself on daylight-saving time.

"It should stay the same," said Jacksonville resident, Yolanda Griffith. "I'm kind of dreading losing my hour of sleep on Sunday."

With the clocks set to spring forward an hour this Sunday, there's a lot of people talking about what Soto's bill would mean for Florida in the future.

One of the main concerns, alienating our neighbors to the north, Georgia would keep the traditional fall back and spring forward changes, so if the Sunshine Protection Act passes, Florida and Georgia would have an hour's difference.

"The big plus is for the kids going to school," said Gaughn. "The downside is when you come home from work, the sun's already down, especially during winter like December and January."

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