In other words: Even if the governor signs the bill, nothing will happen now. Congress, rived over tariffs and gun control and immigration, would have to act on clocks — or the Transportation Department would have to issue a new regulation, an option the Florida legislation does not mention.
Given that hurdle, it is perhaps not surprising that while other states have discussed making daylight saving time the permanent law of their lands, none have managed to do it.
In recent years, several states in New England — Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Rhode Island — have created commissions or introduced proposals to that end. Staying on daylight saving time could have particular benefits in New England, which, as the easternmost region of a sprawling time zone, endures very early winter sunsets. In parts of Maine, for example, between Thanksgiving and Christmas, the sun sets before 4 p.m. — more than an hour earlier than it does in Detroit, at the other end of the Eastern time zone.
This can mean more electricity use and more symptoms of seasonal affective disorder — not to mention less after-work shopping, which takes an economic toll.
But changing time zones could have an economic cost, too, especially in a region like the Northeast, where millions of people commute across state lines. No one wants their office to be an hour ahead of their home. Cognizant of that, most of the New England states contemplating a change made it contingent on their neighbors’ doing the same.
That is less of a problem in Florida, where a vast majority of residents work within the state.
The sponsors of the Florida legislation — State Senator Greg Steube and State Representatives Heather Fitzenhagen and Jeanette Nuñez, all Republicans — did not respond to requests for comment Wednesday afternoon. But in interviews with local newspapers on Tuesday, they said they believed year-round daylight saving time would improve the economy, public safety and mental health.