Louisiana has a trigger law to make daylight saving time permanent

Greg Hilburn
Lafayette Daily Advertiser

Louisiana has a trigger law to make daylight saving time permanent if Congress passes the "Sunshine Protection Act" filed this week by Republican Florida U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio.

That would allow Louisiana to spring forward forever because of a state law passed by Republican Haughton Rep. Dodie Horton in 2020.

Daylight saving time this year begins at 2 a.m. March 12.

"Every year we get close to starting daylight saving time people start asking me about when it can become permanent in Louisiana," Horton said. "We're ready to roll right into it if Congress acts. I'm excited our federal partners are taking another swipe at it."

Rubio won unanimous Senate approval last year for his bill, but it died in the House without getting a vote. He refiled the bill Wednesday.

“This ritual of changing time twice a year is stupid,” Rubio said in a statement. “Locking the clock has overwhelming bipartisan and popular support. This Congress, I hope that we can finally get this done.”

A poll from The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research conducted in October 2021 found only 25% of Americans said they preferred to switch back and forth between standard and daylight saving time.

However, 43% of survey respondents said they wanted to see standard time (the hours observed roughly for most of November into March) the time for the entire year, while 32% said they would prefer daylight saving time.

The American Academy of Sleep Medicine has advocated to stay on permanent standard time.

"People tell me its an unnecessary disruption to their lives and many tell me it affects their mood and energy levels," Horton said.

Last year Rubio argued a permanent dose of extended sunshine could do everything from reducing vehicle accidents to reducing crime.

Daylight saving time starts once again on Sunday, March 12.

"There's some strong science behind it that is now showing and making people aware of the harm that clock switching has," Rubio said on the Senate floor. "We see an increase in heart attacks and car accidents and pedestrian accidents in the weeks that follow the changes.

"The benefits of daylight saving time have also been accounted for in the research. For example, reduced crime as there's light later in the day. We've seen decreases in child obesity, a decrease in seasonal depression that many feel during standard time."

Daylight saving time was first implemented in the U.S. as a wartime measure in 1918 for seven months during World War I in the interest of adding more daylight hours.

More:Representative Dodie Horton wants In God We Trust displayed in every Louisiana classroom

Greg Hilburn covers state politics for the USA TODAY Network of Louisiana. Follow him on Twitter @GregHilburn1.