Washington – The Senate unanimously approved a bill Tuesday that wouldStarting in November 2023, a significant leap forward to ensure an extra hour of sunlight at the end of the day all year round.
gave BillKnown as the Sunshine Protection Act, it received 17 cosponsors from both parties in the upper house and passed unanimously. Senator Marco Rubio, a Republican from Florida, has long been a supporter of making the clock change permanent and is pushing for passage of the bill.
“The good news is if we can get it passed, we don’t have to do this stupid thing anymore,” Rubio said on the Senate floor. “Hopefully this is the year it will be done and the sentence will be remitted, but it’s an idea whose time has come.”
Rubio pointed to research showing that an extra hour of sunlight later in the day leads to lower crime levels, less seasonal depression and more time for children to play outside.
“What happens is, especially for those 16 weeks of the year, if you don’t have a park or an outdoor facility with lights, you basically shut down around 5 p.m. are, in some cases at 4 or 4:30.” He said. “These lights and things like that in parks are expensive, and a lot of communities are resistant to them.”
Daylight Savings Time currently begins on the second weekend of March and ends on the first weekend of November. The federal government last extended this period by four weeks in 2007. Rubio said his bill delayed the change until 2023 to accommodate airlines and other industries that had already set their schedules.
A bill passed by the Senate must still be approved by the House and signed by the President to become law. A similar version of the bill has been introduced in the House and was referred to a subcommittee of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce last month. Experts whoA hearing last week urged lawmakers to make the change.
“Simply put, darkness kills. And darkness in the evening is much more deadly than darkness in the morning,” said Steve Calandrillo, a professor at the University of Washington. “The evening rush hour is twice as deadly as the morning rush hour for a variety of reasons — more people are on the road, more alcohol is in the driver’s blood, people are rushing to get home, and more children. Outside, enjoying unsupervised play.”
Scott McFarlane contributed to this report.