Every American could enjoy later sunrises and sunsets indefinitely after the U.S. Senate approved new daylight savings rules on March 15.
Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) convinced a majority of senators the nation would benefit from making daylight savings time permanent.
If the House and Joe Biden also approve, the Sunshine Protection Act of 2021 (S. 623) will require all states to set the time one hour earlier starting from 2023. The change promises to give everyone an extra hour of daylight in the afternoon and evening.
For example, the shortest day of the year in New York will have sunrise at 8:15 a.m. and sunset at 5:31 p.m.
“There is some strong science behind it that is now showing and making people aware of the harm that clock switching has. We see an increase in heart attacks and car accidents and pedestrian accidents in the week[s] that follow the changes,” Rubio said in a statement.
“The benefits of daylight savings time have also been accounted for in the research. For example, reduced crime as there is light later in the day [and] we have seen decreases in child obesity—a decrease in seasonal depression that many feel during standard time,” he added.
The senator made the observations about four years after the Florida state Legislature made daylight savings time permanent.
Alabama, Arkansas, California, Delaware, Georgia, Idaho, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Mississippi, Montana, Ohio, Oregon, South Carolina, Tennessee, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming have also passed similar laws, resolutions or voter initiatives.
The Republican also released a one-page explanation of the changes to help remove confusion.
Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) cosponsored the legislation, and hopes all 50 states enjoy the benefits of permanent daylight savings time.
“By the time you get from November when we fall back to the shortest day of the year in December the 21st … we have sunset in Rhode Island at 4:15 p.m.—if they work regular nine-to-five hours, they are driving home in the pitch dark,” he said according to The Hill. “So let us make it 5:15 p.m.”
“There are a lot fewer people up and about between 6:30 and 7:30 in the morning than there are between 4:15 and 5:15 in the afternoon,” he added.