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According to a fact sheet circulated by Rubio’s office, the benefits of permanent DST would include improvements in the physical and mental wellbeing of the nation’s populace, less crime, and actually save energy. CBS writes:
[Staying in DST] would reduce car crashes and pedestrian accidents as daylight hours will better align with drivers’ standard work hours and increase visibility, according to the American Journal of Public Health and the Journal of Safety Research […] It will reduce the risk for cardiac issues, stroke and seasonal depression and, according to a 2015 Brookings Institution, it would reduce the number of robberies by 27 percent.
Other studies say it will benefit the economy, reduce childhood obesity and benefit agriculture. It would also reduce energy usage, as people won’t need to use as much electricity each day, a 2008 study by the U.S. Department of Energy shows, according to Rubio’s fact sheet.
Time is a flat circle, whether it’s daylight saving or standard, and battles in Congress over whether to end the transitions and which way to go have been going on for decades. According to USA Today, counterparts to the legislation in the House have been stalled in the Energy and Commerce Committee.
Proponents of eliminating DST and sticking with Standard Time year-round have made similar arguments about benefits to public health, such as that DST messes with the circadian rhythm and thus negatively impacts human health. Sleep scientists have generally advocated the Standard Time approach.
Polling has shown that the vast majority of Americans (71 percent) would prefer ending the switch back and forth, with 31% in favor of permanent DST and 40% backing permanent Standard Time. Of course, given the mental gymnastics and conflicting claims about mental and physical wellbeing involved, it’s debatable how many of those people are just randomly picking one side or the other in the hopes the clock changes will finally stop.
There have been at least 350 pieces of state legislation that would switch to either permanent DST or Standard Time, according to McClatchy DC. The state of Florida has already passed a bill transitioning the state to permanent DST, but it’s contingent on federal legislation also passing. At least 15 other states have passed similar legislation picking one side or the other, passing the buck to the feds rather than risk desynchronizing the fabric of time between states.
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