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April 24, 2019

Update on H.B. 1013: Permanent Daylight Saving Time for Florida

Florida has decided to break with tradition concerning daylight saving time…will other states follow suit?

Clocks all over the U.S. “sprang forward” on March 11th for daylight saving time, jumping ahead an hour. However, it may be the last time Florida participates in the time changes the country goes through each year. Florida HB 1013 was filed in mid-December 2017, and it would mean that Florida observes daylight saving time year-round. Essentially, the legislation dictates that Florida would not “fall back” in the fall, and their time would not change from what it is now. Explore the latest updates on H.B. 1013 and the pros and cons of daylight saving time.

The Pros and Cons of Daylight Saving Time

Despite the myths surrounding the twice-annual time change, daylight saving time was not created to benefit farming schedules. It was actually created to save coal due to World War I in the 1900s. Actually, the ag industry lobbied against the legislation even then. The main pro of the time changes is encouraging consumers to be out and about in the evening, spending money in retail settings.

The main drawback of the time change is that it actually disrupts farming schedules rather than helping them. Sunrise and sunset times change by mere minutes a day, not by an hour at a time. Such drastic time changes are not conducive to many parts of agriculture, such as milking cows which requiresa set schedule. Farmers would rather follow the sun than the clock when it comes to their ag operations.

For everyone, including farmers, studies show that daylight saving time disrupts the circadian rhythms that are so important for our physical processes.

Update on Florida’s Time Changes

Florida’s bid to stop changing between standard time and daylight saving time passed the House in February and the Senate in early March. Both arms of the Florida legislature passed the bill with fair majorities. On March 23rd, Governor Scott signed HB 1013 into law.

There’s one glitch, however. According to a New York Times article, the power to alter anything to do with time zones lies with the federal government only. Essentially, the state of Florida does not have the authority to change its time without the federal government’s say-so.

So, while Florida has done all it can to seal the deal when it comes to staying on daylight saving time, it’s up to the federal government to allow states to alter the times they use. HB 1013 actually has wording that makes it contingent on whether or not “the United States Congress amends 15 U.S.C. s. 260a to authorize states to observe daylight saving time year-round.” It would likely take a concerted effort by numerous states to induce the federal government to make changes to the current time change schedule. Hopefully Florida has started the trend.

AgAmerica supports agriculture and will be here for our nation’s farmers in good times and bad, in standard time or daylight saving time. Contact us to speak with one of our team members to explore our custom loan products.

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