'Sunshine Protection Act' would end time changes in Florida - FOX 13 News

'Sunshine Protection Act' would end time changes in Florida

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TAMPA (FOX 13) -

Bobby Shiveley's Florida vacation just ended. He got an extra hour of daylight -- just in time to head back to work.

"It doesn't make sense for Florida to be on that kind of schedule," the Atlanta tourist said.

Shively and many others say Florida should stay on Daylight Saving Time. And Florida state Senator Darren Soto just answered the call with his 'Sunshine Protection Act.'

If passed, we would never 'fall back.'

"Floridians' quality-of-life and, potentially, economics would be improved by having an hour more of sunshine in the afternoon," stated Soto (D, Kissimmee).

It could boost recreation and tourism. Before the time change, golf courses were empty. But not anymore.

"We'd see as many as 75 to 100 golfers go out after 5 o'clock," offered Clay Thomas of the Westchase Golf Club.

When it gets dark later, people don't run their lights as much at night. And that's the whole idea.

Our government first switched to Daylight Saving Time during both world wars to save energy. President Ronald Reagan moved up the start date to early April, then President George W. Bush moved it up to early March.

Nationally, a new Rasmussen poll shows more Americans are tired of the biannual time changes. The poll found 45 percent now say it's just not worth it.

"I like that when I get home, I have more time to go running and more time outside to do activities I did not have before," observed Kerry Black, a teacher from Plant City.

Airline lobbyists have opposed efforts to extend Daylight Saving Time. They've said it would be too confusing for travelers.

But if that's the case, many travelers won't admit to it. We asked a lot of passengers if they were confused; we couldn't find one.

Critics say Daylight Saving Time saves little energy. A federal study put the savings at around a half of one percent.

Staying on it would also knock Florida out of sync with the rest of the nation, and that's ultimately why the push to stay one hour ahead may stall at the Capitol.

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