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Florida may keep Daylight Savings Time, ending the changing of clocks

Overnight, March 9, 2014 at 2:00 a.m., Floridians turned their clocks forward one hour in a semi-annual ritual which costs the state in extra accidents and workplace injuries. Some members of the Florida legislature would like to put an end to the ritual, which would be welcomed as it has been in other states and territories of the U.S. There is a bill in the Florida House and an identical bill in the Florida Senate which would keep Florida clocks from having to change each November and March.

Unlike most bills before the legislature, they are only one page and state:

An act relating to daylight saving time; providing a short title; requiring that the State of Florida and its political subdivisions observe daylight saving time year-round; providing an effective date.

Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
Section 1. (1) This section may be cited as the "Sunshine Protection Act."
(2) Notwithstanding how time is advanced pursuant to 15 U.S.C. s. 260(a), daylight saving time shall be the year-round standard time of the entire state and all of its political subdivisions.
Section 2. This act shall take effect July 1, 2014."

Supporters of the bills are asking Floridians to contact their state House Representatives and state Senators so they can end the practice of changing the time in Florida twice a year.

In a recent USA Today article, management professor Christopher Barnes, of the University of Washington, "I have not seen any benefits of this change. I've only seen a downside in my data and the other studies." He added that the change robs Americans of approximately 40 minutes of sleep when they wake Monday morning.

There are associated health risks with the time shifting twice a year as well. A 2012 University of Alabama study found that heart attacks increase by 10% on Monday and Tuesday following the shift to Daylight Saving Time. Perhaps the legislators should market their bills as life savers rather than just convenience pleasers.

Although there is a healthy debate online between Libertarians and how they feel about Daylight Savings Time, most seem they would prefer to see the time remain the same throughout the year and would likely favor the two bills before the Florida legislature.

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