Senate Senator Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) introduced the Sunshine Protection Act of 2023 earlier this month, which would permanently extend daylight savings time. In the Senate, the bill has received bipartisan support so far and has been referred to the Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee. If passed, we would no longer “fall back” in November when we change the clocks on March 12.
Rubio previously introduced a comparable bill which received unanimous approval in the Senate, however, it faced opposition in the House. The legislators believed that there were more pressing issues and requested further deliberation and examination of the bill. Some expressed apprehensions about its potential impact on tourist areas or farming communities. It remains to be seen how Rubio’s new Sunshine Protection Act will fare, but unlike last year, Republicans are in charge of the House. What is the situation with states?
There are only two ways for the U.S. to abandon daylight saving time: Congress enacts a federal law or a state or local government submits detailed information to the U.S. secretary of transportation “supporting its contention that the requested change will serve the convenience of commerce.”
As of October 2022, at least 19 states had already enacted legislation or resolutions to make daylight saving time permanent, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL). It is, however, impossible for these states to make the change without the approval of Congress or their neighbors enacting the same legislation.
law allowing for the same. Meanwhile, legislators in Oregon, Washington, and California have already passed laws to remain on daylight saving time permanently pending federal approval.Lawmakers across various states are proposing bills related to permanent time changes. Arkansas, Iowa and Oklahoma seek to stay on daylight saving time if Congress permits state choices. Nebraska has introduced a comparable bill with an additional requirement that a third neighboring state must follow suit too. New Mexico lawmakers have proposed two bills: one seeks to maintain standard year-round timing while the other wants permanent daylight saving time only if all or part of Texas (specifically El Paso County) does so as well. In contrast, legislators in Oregon, Washington and California have already passed laws enabling them to stay permanently on daylight saving time subject to federal sanctioning.
Consequently, daylight saving time and the tradition of changing the clocks twice a year will continue without Congressional action.