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Bill pushes for daylight saving time year-round

8:45 PM, Jan 30, 2014   |    comments
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St. Petersburg, FL - How about an extra hour of evening sunshine in the Sunshine State?

State Rep. Mark Danish of New Tampa and state Sen. Darren Soto of Kissimmee both think it's a great idea and are proposing Florida become the first state in the country to move to daylight saving time year-round.

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The move would mean an extra hour of daylight during the winter months because Floridians would no longer roll their clocks back in the fall.

"It'll be very good for the economy, it'll also save energy by not having to use the light so early, so it does help us," Danish told 10 News on Thursday.

Danish says the extra hour would be good for the state's tourist industry, giving visitors an extra hour of daylight to enjoy at Florida attractions.

He also cites a 2008 report to Congress that concluded an extension of daylight time saved about 0.5% of the nation's electricity per day. That's enough energy to power 100,000 homes for a year. However, opponents have argued in recent years that gain is offset by an increased use of the A/C.

Soto told 10 News he thinks the biggest hurdle in getting their bill passed is that "it's a new idea." He says federal approval may also be needed to make the year-round change.

Currently Hawaii, Arizona and Puerto Rico do not observe daylight saving time.

If approved, the change would take effect July 1, 2014.

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