By Eric Daugherty
March 16th, 2022 Updated 5:42 P.M. ET
WASHINGTON (FCV) – On Tuesday, March 15th 2022, the U.S. Senate approved a bill to make daylight saving time permanent in the United States. The ‘Sunshine Protection Act’ would allow Americans to stay in a full year of daylight savings time rather than changing their clocks twice a year.
The bill, co-sponsored by Florida Republican Senator Marco Rubio and Rhode Island Democratic Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, must now go before the U.S. House of Representatives for approval. If passed, Americans would gain an extra hour of daylight year round.
“It does darken our lives in a very literal sense,” said Senator Whitehouse. Studies have shown that economic activity increases, energy utilization goes down, and seasonal depression rates are reduced with the extra hour.
“American’s exercise more frequently during daylight Saving Time, reducing the risk of stroke and heart problems. Research also suggests that the extra hour of the afternoon sun leads to fewer car accidents and evening robberies” the White House said.
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention states that deadly car accidents increase by 6% when we switch to Standard Daylight Saving Time.
If approved by the House of Representatives, it would need President Joe Biden’s signature to become law. The Biden administration has not said whether he would support or reject the bill if it passes in the House. However, A 2021 Economist-YouGov Poll found that 63% of Americans want to eliminate the changing of the clocks, making it advantageous for him to pass the bill into effect.
The bill would not require states and territories that do not observe daylight savings time to spring forward. In the past four years, 18 states have enacted legislation or passed resolutions to mandate year-round Daylight Saving Time.
If passed, this bill would not go into effect until 2023 to accommodate airline and agriculture industries, along with others who set their schedule so far in advance.
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