Will Florida Soon Observe Daylight Saving Time Year-Round?
That '5 o'clock somewhere' feeling may get a whole hour longer.
The Sunshine State may be Florida's official nickname, but those pre-6:00pm winter sunsets sure don't feel like the state is living up to its moniker.
That's where the "Sunshine Protection Act" comes in, two new bills that were approved by their first Senate and House committees this week by a unanimous vote, reports the Tampa Bay Times. The act would give the state permission to keep daylight saving time year-round. Currently, only Hawaii and the bulk of Arizona stick to standard time year-round.
"The practical impact of that change would mean that on the Winter Solstice—that's the day in the Northern Hemisphere with the least amount of daylight — sunrise in Florida would be at about 8 a.m. and sunset would be at about 6:30 p.m. instead of 7 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. like it is now," explains the Tampa Bay Times.
In addition to helping people's body clocks not feel out of whack with the time switch, the move would also likely have an economic impact on the state—and the hordes of tourists that visit annually.
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With an extra hour of daylight, imagine all the people who'd want to stick around for another happy hour drink on a beachfront patio. Or how about all the shops and food stands that may opt to stay open an hour later? Picture all the extra Teacup spins at Disney before the sun sets and dinnertime arrives.
In addition to making daylight saving time permanent, the proposed act would also unify the state under the Eastern Time zone; currently much of the Panhandle operates on Central Time.
Here's to hoping the government springs forward with a verdict on this exciting development.