PROVIDENCE — Could this be the last time we set our clocks ahead?
If Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse has his way, the answer is yes.
Whitehouse is sponsoring legislation titled the “Sunshine Protection Act” that would make daylight saving time permanent for the entire United States. The legislation is cosponsored by Republican Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida.
“Many people spend months looking forward to this weekend, when clocks will jump ahead an hour and winter starts to fade,” Whitehouse said in a news release Saturday. “It’s time for Congress to take up our bipartisan legislation to make Daylight Saving Time permanent and brighten the coldest months with an extra hour of afternoon sun.”
Daylight saving time starts Sunday at 2 a.m. and continues into the beginning of November. According to Whitehouse’s release, “in the past four years, eighteen states have enacted legislation or passed resolutions to mandate year-round Daylight Saving Time, but Congress must act before states can adopt the change.”
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In his release, Whitehouse asserted that permanent daylight saving time would provide substantial public-health and economic benefits.
“Studies have shown that economic activity is reduced during Standard Time, and permanent Daylight Saving Time would lead to greater energy savings,” the release stated. “Spending more standard work hours in sunlight would reduce rates of seasonal depression.
“Americans exercise more frequently during Daylight Saving Time, reducing the risk of stroke and heart problems. Research also suggests that the extra hour of afternoon sun leads to fewer car accidents and evening robberies.”