Bill advances to keep Florida in daylight saving time year-round


Most of the Panhandle would remain an hour behind the rest of the state under a revamped Senate proposal that would seek congressional approval to put Florida on year-round daylight-saving time.

The Commerce and Tourism Committee voted unanimously Monday to support a bill (SB 858) to keep Floridians from having to reset their clocks twice a year.

Before the vote, bill sponsor Greg Steube, R-Sarasota, removed a provision that would have placed all of the state in the Eastern time zone, noting that people in Northwest Florida objected to switching from Central time.

»RELATED: The latest in Florida political news

“Northern Florida people in the Central Time zone overwhelmingly want to stay where they are,” said committee Chairman Bill Montford, a Tallahassee Democrat whose sprawling 11-county district includes areas in each time zone.

Montford is among three Northwest Florida senators who had earlier announced they were “adamantly opposed” to moving the entire state into the Eastern Time zone.

The change in the Senate bill makes it nearly identical to the House version (HB 1013), which swept through a pair of committees and is slated to go to the full House on Wednesday.

If approved by the Legislature, the proposal to shift to year-round daylight-saving time would depend on congressional approval.

Steube’s bill, called the “Sunshine Protection Act,” must still get through the Rules Committee before reaching the Senate floor.

If the measure is ultimately signed into law, Steube couldn’t give an estimate on how long it may take Congress to act, but he expects other states to follow Florida in seeking the change.

After Steube’s proposal drew unanimous support on Jan. 23 from the Community Affairs Committee, Montford was joined by Sen. Doug Broxson, R-Gulf Breeze, and Sen. George Gainer, R-Panama City, in expressing displeasure with the proposal to go to Eastern time in the Panhandle.

“We have heard our constituents loud and clear that they want to us to maintain our historical place in the Central time zone,” wrote Broxson.

Among the issues for the Panhandle counties would be time differences with people living in neighboring Alabama, which is on Central time. Also, the change could alter the amount of light before school, which would become a safety issue for schools, Montford said.

Hawaii and most of Arizona currently don’t participate in switching from standard time to daylight-saving time and back. They stay on standard time throughout the year. Daylight-saving time will start March 11 this year and end Nov. 4.



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Politics

Should Gov. Scott remove Broward Sheriff Israel over Parkland shooting?
Should Gov. Scott remove Broward Sheriff Israel over Parkland shooting?

Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel with Gov. Rick Scott at a news conference in Parkland the morning after the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School mass shooting that claimed 17 lives. (George Bennett/The Palm Beach Post) State Rep. Bill Hager, R-Boca Raton, is urging Florida Gov. Rick Scott...
State Rep. urges Scott to oust Broward sheriff over Parkland shooting
State Rep. urges Scott to oust Broward sheriff over Parkland shooting

State Rep. Bill Hager, R-Boca Raton, is urging Florida Gov. Rick Scott to remove Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel over his agency’s handling of the Feb. 14 mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland. Hager sent a letter to Scott on Saturday calling on him to remove Israel, who was elected in 2012 and 2016, “for...
Former Trump campaign aide Rick Gates pleads guilty in Mueller investigation
Former Trump campaign aide Rick Gates pleads guilty in Mueller investigation

Rick Gates, a former aide in President Donald Trump's campaign, pleaded guilty to making false statements and conspiring against the United States on Friday, making him the fifth person to enter a guilty plea in special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election.
Scott, legislative leaders offer plans in response to school shooting
Scott, legislative leaders offer plans in response to school shooting

The minimum age to buy a gun in Florida could soon become 21, and all public schools could have either armed officers or armed teachers, under proposals made by Gov. Rick Scott and legislative leaders Friday. Scott and the Republican leaders of both the House and Senate held separate news conferences to unveil proposals they say they want to complete...
As Donald Trump Jr. drums up business in India, some ask what’s being sold
As Donald Trump Jr. drums up business in India, some ask what’s being sold

Donald Trump Jr., who has spent the week in India pitching new luxury high-rises that bear his family’s name, took the stage before a crowd of about 200 on Thursday. “Building a Better Mumbai,” the banner behind him proclaimed.  “We’re actually delivering true luxury,” Trump told the guests, who were greeted...
More Stories