As Rhode Islanders prepare to set their clocks ahead an hour this weekend, U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse is urging Congress to pass his bipartisan Sunshine Protection Act, a bill to make Daylight Saving Time permanent nationwide. U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) introduced the bill earlier this month. Whitehouse has been a cosponsor of the bill each Congress since 2019.
“It’s time for Congress to find consensus and free Rhode Islanders from the unnecessary practice of changing our clocks twice a year. If we pass my Sunshine Protection Act and make Daylight Saving Time permanent, we’d gain an hour of afternoon sunlight in the winter months for families to soak up after work and school. That’s a commonsense change that I hope all we can all get behind,” said Whitehouse.
Last March, the Senate passed the Sunshine Protection Act by unanimous consent, sending it to the House of Representatives. The House did not vote on the legislation before the end of the last Congress.
Daylight Saving Time begins this Sunday, March 12th at 2 a.m. and lasts through the beginning of November. The United States enjoys eight months of DST and only four months of Standard Time. In the last five years, nineteen states have enacted legislation or passed resolutions to mandate year-round Daylight Saving Time, but Congress must act before states can adopt these changes.
There is considerable evidence that making Daylight Saving Time permanent could benefit the American economy and public health. Studies have shown that economic activity is reduced during Standard Time, and permanent Daylight Saving Time could lead to greater energy savings. Given an extra hour of afternoon sunlight, Americans exercise more frequently during Daylight Saving Time. Research also suggests that the extra hour of afternoon sun leads to fewer car accidents and evening robberies.
View the full text of the legislation here
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