Senate Votes to Make Daylight Saving Time Permanent

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The Senate passed a bill by unanimous consent on Tuesday to make daylight saving time permanent starting in 2023.

The main objection to making daylight saving time permanent is that sunrise will occur later than 8 a.m. in the dead of winter (in some locations even after a.m.). The benefit, obviously, would be no more of those dreadful 4:30 p.m. sunsets in places such as New York in December.

Florida GOP senator Marco Rubio, who co-sponsored the bill with Democratic senator Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island, said that school districts could consider moving back the start of classes to address concerns about children making their way to school in the dark. “We start school in this country at the worst possible time for adolescents,” Rubio said in the Capitol on Tuesday. 

Of course, starting school an hour later is easier said than done — it would mean many parents couldn’t start work until an hour later.

Most senators I spoke to on Tuesday didn’t seem to care whether daylight saving time or standard time was made permanent — they just don’t like adjusting each season. “Just do one or the other,” Michigan Democratic senator Gary Peters told me. “Going back and forth twice a year, to me — it’s just time to have one set of time.” Under the Senate-passed plan, sunrise would occur at 9:11 a.m. on December 21 in Grand Rapids, Mich.

The House has not yet passed the measure.