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The Sunshine Protection Act

As the summer months progress, an hour of daylight is shifted from the morning to the evening with the dates varying from country to country. Daylight Saving Time is primarily meant to take advantage of the daylight. 

After first being tried in 1918, daylight saving time has been in effect in the United States nearly all of the time since the 1960s. The year-round daylight saving time was first used during World War 2 and was reinstituted in 1973 in response to an oil embargo in an attempt to reduce energy consumption, but was repealed the following year.

Various state legislative panels continue to wrestle with the vexing and multifaceted question of when to change the clocks. The majority of states have pondered legislation that would permanently shift them to either standard time or daylight saving time over the past few years.  

As a result of a unanimous Senate vote, daylight savings time will become permanent in 2023, eliminating the biannual ritual of resetting clocks one hour forward or backward. 

Despite still having to pass the Sunshine Protection Act in the House, should it be passed, the time Americans live during summer would now be the standard time across the U.S. year-round, resulting in later sunrises and sunsets. 

In addition to Arizona and Hawaii, which do not observe daylight saving time, this bill also extends standard time to American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico, the Northern Mariana Islands, and the U.S. 

The new changes have sparked debate on the idea of eliminating daylight savings time, with some stating that research indicates that with the changing ways in which energy is consumed. Essentially, daylight savings time is no longer a useful time saving method.

“I love feeling like there is more time in the day when I come home from school. I feel more freedom and leeway in my schedule,” conveyed sophomore, Ariana Larrosa.

Some contend that standard time is preferable to daylight saving since it is more closely aligned with natural daytime and our natural body clock. A disruption of the body’s clock can lead to an increase in strokes and cardiovascular events, as well as more traffic accidents. 

“I don’t really like daylight savings because it messes up my sleeping schedule. Although it’s just an hour change, it takes my body a while now to get accustomed to the new schedule and time. I end up being super tired for school and not as motivated as I usually am,” expressed sophomore, Alanis Hernandez.

There is no doubt that the time change is rather negative due to the variety of issues surrounding the new schedule and its impact on an individual’s health, but there are those who argue that the change was quite beneficial and allows for more day time. Increased productivity and increased daylight make going outside easier and more enjoyable. 

“Before the time change, a couple weeks ago I couldn’t even go outside to the park and walk my dog towards the end of the day because it’s so dark. With the daylight extending till around eight, I feel safer because I can actually see where I am walking, and I’m able to be more productive, rather than just sleeping in my bed,” states sophomore, Nikolle Ibarra.

As many see, the daylight savings time change becoming permanent in the year of 2023 is very controversial. Some argue that daylight savings time interferes with health while others argue that it leads to increased productivity. As a result of this new arrangement, the senate considers setting aside daylight savings time beneficial to society, since no senate majority leader opposed the bill. As evident from their viewpoint, this passing would seem to be a good thing for all, and so now it is up to the future to see if the bill they put into place is truly helpful.

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