Senate Won’t Move Panhandle To Eastern Time, Keeps Year Round Daylight Saving Time

February 13, 2018

Most of the Panhandle would remain an hour behind the rest of the state under a revamped Senate proposal that would seek congressional approval to put Florida on year-round daylight-saving time.

The Commerce and Tourism Committee voted unanimously Monday to support a bill (SB 858) to keep Floridians from having to reset their clocks twice a year.

Before the vote, bill sponsor Greg Steube, R-Sarasota, removed a provision that would have placed all of the state in the Eastern time zone, noting that people in Northwest Florida objected to switching from Central time.

“Northern Florida people in the Central Time zone overwhelmingly want to stay where they are,” said committee Chairman Bill Montford, a Tallahassee Democrat whose sprawling 11-county district includes areas in each time zone.

Montford is among three Northwest Florida senators who had earlier announced they were “adamantly opposed” to moving the entire state into the Eastern Time zone.

The change in the Senate bill makes it nearly identical to the House version (HB 1013), which swept through a pair of committees and is slated to go to the full House on Wednesday.

If approved by the Legislature, the proposal to shift to year-round daylight-saving time would depend on congressional approval.

Steube’s bill, called the “Sunshine Protection Act,” must still get through the Rules Committee before reaching the Senate floor.

If the measure is ultimately signed into law, Steube couldn’t give an estimate on how long it may take Congress to act, but he expects other states to follow Florida in seeking the change.

After Steube’s proposal drew unanimous support on Jan. 23 from the Community Affairs Committee, Montford was joined by Sen. Doug Broxson, R-Gulf Breeze, and Sen. George Gainer, R-Panama City, in expressing displeasure with the proposal to go to Eastern time in the Panhandle.

“We have heard our constituents loud and clear that they want to us to maintain our historical place in the Central time zone,” wrote Broxson.

Among the issues for the Panhandle counties would be time differences with people living in neighboring Alabama, which is on Central time. Also, the change could alter the amount of light before school, which would become a safety issue for schools, Montford said.

Hawaii and most of Arizona currently don’t participate in switching from standard time to daylight-saving time and back. They stay on standard time throughout the year. Daylight-saving time will start March 11 this year and end November 4.

by Jim Turner, The News Service of Florida


20 Responses to “Senate Won’t Move Panhandle To Eastern Time, Keeps Year Round Daylight Saving Time”

  1. Jim on February 16th, 2018 7:43 am

    @ DW ~ you’re absolutely right you can stay up and go to bed anytime you want, however there are customs that the rest of society tends to follow. Schools begin at a certain time of the day, businesses operate at certain times of the day, and programming is based on the clock. By artificially shifting the clock, we determine what time of day will occur when the sun is at a certain point in the sky, such that it will give us the maximum sunlight either in the morning or in the evening.

  2. Jim on February 16th, 2018 7:36 am

    @ BRDJCJC – The time zones are based on (roughly) lines of longitude, which converge at the poles and are at their widest separation at the equator, hence a wider time zone map in the south. And, not all of Texas is in the Central Time Zone.

  3. WS on February 14th, 2018 11:31 pm

    DW I’m not sure where you took science class at but the revolution of the Earth around the sun has nothing to do with how much daylight you have. The rotation of the Earth on its axis and the tilt of the Earth on its axis determines how much daylight you have.

  4. ROBERT on February 14th, 2018 9:26 am

    Old Indian proverb about daylight savings time…….Only the government would believe that if you could cut a foot off the top of a blanket, sew it to the bottom, and have a longer blanket.”

  5. DW on February 14th, 2018 9:01 am

    I wish people would take a science class. The clock on the wall doesn’t determine how much day light you get. The rotation of the earth around the sun determines how much day light you get. I don’t care what the clock says. I can get up as early or stay up as late as I want , to do whatever I want.

  6. JJ on February 14th, 2018 8:39 am

    This all started when that south Florida Senator had a buddy of his, who is a barber, visit Pensacola and he was discombobulated because he had to change his watch when he arrived and when he left Pensacola. The guy isn’t even from here, yet he went to his Senator buddy and somehow talked him into introducing the bill. That Senator should be ashamed! Two people, not even from here, messing with our ways!

  7. BRDJCJC on February 13th, 2018 8:36 pm

    For years I have been wanting to be either daylight savings all year or Eastern Time (not both, though). I dread the time change in the fall because that means that my kids can’t play outside after school. It’s dark much too early! I think the Central Time zone is much too wide in the south, and we don’t belong in the same time zone as Texas. I would love to switch to an hour ahead and stay there!!!

  8. Nod on February 13th, 2018 5:34 pm

    Daylight Savings Time year-round we Spring Forward and leave it there

  9. tg on February 13th, 2018 2:47 pm

    Grand Locust, well said its like that’s a pressing matter.

  10. Debi Blanton on February 13th, 2018 1:10 pm

    Work on the real issues and leave time zones and daylight savings time alone!

  11. question mark on February 13th, 2018 12:31 pm

    I can see confusion for people who live in Al and work in Fl and vice versa.

  12. Hopeful on February 13th, 2018 12:06 pm

    Hope this passes and Alabama follows suit to get the change stopped by November, hate that twice a year change. NEXT up to Congress to confirm if this passes.

  13. Ray on February 13th, 2018 11:18 am

    Well I think they are right for not putting us on eastern time but I do like the idea of year around daylight saving time ,as for as it being dark in the morning for kids going to school it will only be that way for a couple of weeks.

  14. anne 1of2 on February 13th, 2018 9:49 am

    What in heck are they messing with this at all for? Are they all suffering from a “power over the people ” problem or what? We need to be like Hawaii and Arizona and stay on our own standard time. Just leave us humans alone!

  15. Rex S. on February 13th, 2018 7:58 am

    Grand Locust you are absolutely right!!

  16. Klondike Kid on February 13th, 2018 7:53 am

    I’ve said for years that time change should be addressed on a national level. Whatever the original reasons for ” spring ahead, fall back ” were, that needs to go into the history books. Split the difference 30 minutes at the next scheduled time change & leave it that way permanently across the United States.

  17. Jim on February 13th, 2018 7:17 am

    Well, good for them! It was a poorly thought out plan to begin with, and would have accomplished little to nothing.

  18. Sam on February 13th, 2018 6:46 am


  19. Bob's Brother on February 13th, 2018 6:36 am

    I’m confused… “year round daylight savings time”? Does that mean that at certain times of the year, we’d be off by one hour with neighboring Baldwin, Mobile counties? Would we still “spring forward, and fall back”? Clear as mud.

  20. Grand Locust on February 13th, 2018 5:54 am

    If our representatives were really listening to their constituents, they would quit wasting a limited amount of committee time on such nonsense, and start working on real issues like fixing roads and bridges in Florida which do not close on every three inch rain. Whoever sponsored this nonsense should be tarred and feathered and maybe these fools would get the message that folks do not want hot dogs for representatives, but hard working intelligent representatives who actually solve real problems. One more example of a solution looking for a problem and a headline which will in the end probably cost taxpayers more money.

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