Florida Senate OKs bill for year-round daylight saving time

(AP Photo/Elise Amendola)

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WFLA) — Florida is a step closer to living up to its nickname as “The Sunshine State.”

A bill to let Florida remain on daylight saving time year-round is headed to Governor Rick Scott’s desk after the state Senate approved it 33-2 on Tuesday.

If Scott signs the “Sunshine Protection Act,” Congress would need to amend existing federal law to allow the change.

While the rest of the Eastern United States would set their clocks back in the fall, Florida wouldn’t, leaving it with more sunshine in the evening during the winter. Northwest Florida is currently in the Central time zone.

For those who might not know, daylight saving time was first enacted by the federal government in 1918, during World War I, as a way to conserve coal.

However, how will it affect us if we no longer have to fall back?

It is thought to be safer. Studies have found that the roads are safer during the spring when it’s lighter longer, reducing pedestrian fatalities by 13 percent during dawn and dusk hours.

Another study found the number of robberies is down 7 percent following the spring shift to daylight saving time.

If this bill is signed into law, it could help us all stay a little healthier. One study found that the risk of a heart attack increases the Monday and Tuesday following the spring time change.

Hawaii, most of Arizona, and a handful of U.S. territories – including American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands – do not observe daylight saving time.