Floridians, Did You Set Your Clocks Back?

Daylight Saving Time is an interesting biannual event that people hate in the spring and love in the fall. Getting an extra hour of sleep is always nice, but the “spring forward” aspect of DST produces a country-wide groan.

In a sunny state like Florida, many wonder why DST is still observed. It was thought up (not by Benjamin Franklin, as many believe) by a New Zealand entomologist named George Hudson way back in 1895. He was a bug hunter who just wanted more daylight so he could keep searching for his precious insects. The idea was presented to the English Parliament by the great-great-grandfather of Coldplay’s frontman, Chris Martin. Feel free to blame him and his lineage for DST.

Daylight Saving Time offers an extra hour of daylight, which is great for outdoor laborers and farmers. It’s not so great for indoor employees, hence the rise of the simulated sunrise clock. Daylight shifts can alter everything from medical equipment to billing, not to mention sleep schedules.

Look at the Numbers

This reason, among others (like fewer car crashes and lower crime), is why Florida decided to enact the Sunshine Protect Act, which would put the state permanently on Daylight Saving Time. Students everywhere within the state rejoiced. However, the bills presented by Governor Marco Rubio (one to exempt the state from the Uniform Time Act, the other to put the entire country on Daylight Saving Time) have not yet been heard by Congress. This means Floridians must still set their clocks back on Sunday, November 4.

Not everyone in Florida is in love with the Sunshine Protection Act, even though it passed with overwhelming bipartisan support. One state representative pointed out that permanent Daylight Saving Time for the whole country could present issues with the strictly religious, who follow sunrise-sunset schedules, and for children walking to school in the dark. He recalled a time during the Nixon administration when a gas crisis necessitated the implementation of Daylight Saving Time in the dead of winter while he was living in Colorado. The sun did not rise until 9 am.

Either way, the bills are not yet law. Floridians still had to set their clocks back on Sunday, so enjoy an extra hour of sleep and hope the law is instituted before the “spring forward” next year!

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