Trevor Nace - forbes.com, zerohedge.com|
Support for ditching Daylight Saving Time has been gaining popularity in recent years, but that support has just found its way to the very top.
As the United States woke up sleep-deprived Monday morning, President Trump announced he supports permanent daylight saving time in 2019 and beyond. Trump is just as tired as the rest of America in switching our clocks twice a year.
Most of the United States set their clocks to "spring forward" in the early morning of March 10. March 10 marks the start of daylight saving time in 2019, which is set to end on Sunday, November 3. However, if President Trump's statement is enough to push a change, there is a chance we will not set our clocks to "fall back" this November.
President Trump tweeted "Making Daylight Saving Time permanent is O.K. with me!" in the early morning of March 11. Perhaps, as a response to adjusting to the new time and an hour less of sleep over the weekend.
Making Daylight Saving Time permanent is O.K. with me!
- Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 11, 2019
The inception of daylight saving time goes back to 1895 when George Hudson proposed the idea as a way to save energy. In the United States, daylight saving was implemented for the first time on in 1918 during World War I to save fuel and resources and to extend the working day. However, this law was meant to only exist during the war and was repealed soon after World War I. It was again adopted during World War II and in 1966 by President Lyndon B. Johnson as he signed into law the Uniform Time Act.
What President Trump is arguing for is permanent daylight saving time, essentially eliminating the "fall back" of clocks in November. This would mean the United States stays on summer hours all year round. Some states, including Hawaii and most of Arizona, do not observe daylight saving time at all.
While states have opted out of daylight saving time, states cannot independently implement permanent daylight saving time. Several states, including Florida, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Rhode Island have introduced state legislature to push for permanent daylight saving time. However, these states must rely on Congress changing federal law, and signed by President Trump, in order to implement "permanent daylight saving time."
With the president's tweet this morning, it indicates that Trump would sign a proposal if it landed on his desk. The "Sunshine Protection Act" proposed by Florida legislation to permanently implement daylight saving time is currently on hold in Congress. Making time permanent in the continental U.S. is a growing movement that caught steam in Florida last year when then-Gov. Rick Scott signed the "Sunshine Protection Act" into law, which would negate the moving of clocks one hour between the months of March and November (summertime).
Scott, now a senator, later co-sponsored national legislation to this effect in the U.S. Senate with fellow Republican Sen. Marco Rubio, noting in a press release, "the bill would simply negate the need for Americans to change their clocks twice a year. Many studies have shown that making DST permanent could benefit the economy and the country."
Scott and Rubio listed the benefits of making daylight saving time permanent, including:
Reduces car crashes and car accidents involving pedestrians
Reduces risk for cardiac issues, stroke and seasonal depression.
Reduces the number of robberies by 27 percent
Reduces childhood obesity and increases physical fitness
Benefits the agricultural economy
Reduces energy usage.
The 1966 law allows states to opt out of daylight saving, and Hawaii and Arizona do so, staying on standard time all year; so does Puerto Rico. But for reasons that historians say remain murky, the law does not allow states to opt in all the way, and choose daylight time year-round. So the California proposal, and a similar bill passed by the Florida Legislature last year, would require an act of Congress to take effect.
Some state lawmakers have proposed clever workarounds, like shifting time zones, as New Hampshire is currently considering.
Josh Yokela, a Republican state legislator in New Hampshire, is working on a way around that problem. He is the lead sponsor of a bill, passed by the State House last month, to request that New Hampshire be shifted into the Atlantic time zone, which by fine coincidence would do exactly what daylight saving does now: put the state an hour ahead of Eastern Standard Time. Then the state would opt out of seasonal clock changes, as the 1966 law allows.