Florida lawmakers propose switching state clocks to permanent daylight-saving time year-round

Supporters say time change helps tourism

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - More sunshine for the Sunshine State. Some Florida lawmakers are pushing for the state to permanently make the switch to daylight-saving time all year.

It is called the "Sunshine Protection Act."

If it is voted into law, this March when Floridians "spring forward" an hour, residents would never go back.

Those in support of HB 107 said it could offer a major boost in tourism and business.
"I mean this is Florida. I think the sun has a big impact. When it rains out, the phone stops ringing," said Mike Mercado, captain of Right Hook Fishing.

The change would mean it would stay lighter, later into the evening.

It would give folks like golfers more time to finish up their evening swings.

"I think that would be a good thing. I think a lot of golfers, beachgoers, people recreating would rather see it at the end of the day," said Ray Finch at President Country Club in West Palm Beach.

Finch said tourists typically stay out late while on vacation. The switch to permanent daylight-saving time would give them more time to wake up and do the activities they want.
"Getting up at the crack of dawn to do something is probably not appealing," said Finch.

But if the "Sunshine Protection Act" passes, farmers could be getting a later start on their day. Students, during the winter months, most likely would be walking to school in the dark.

It could also adversely affect people like Captain Mercado who right now is torn on the idea of sticking to daylight-saving time.

"If it's in the winter when it's cooler out, they're looking forward to the sun warming them up. So if they know it's not coming out until later, it might cut back on my morning trips," said Mercado.

The bill has been assigned to a committee. If it is passed, the change would go into effect in July 2014.

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