Daylight saving time bill could change Panhandle time zone
TALLAHASSEE, FLA.10/25/17-Sen. Greg Steube, R-Sarasota, during the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Pre-K-12 Education at the Capitol in Tallahassee. COLIN HACKLEY PHOTO


Florida could soon be unified under one time zone.

An amendment to a state bill (SB 585) that seeks year-round observance of daylight saving time, or ‘spring forward’ time, would ask Congress to authorize the U.S. Department of Transportation to allow the entire state to observe Eastern Standard Time.

In Florida, Central Standard Time observance begins at the Apalachicola River and extends west encompassing Panama City and Pensacola. The rest of state observes EST.

With the amendment adopted, the bill cleared the Senate Committee on Community Affairs on Tuesday. As it stands the bill would require two acts from Congress. One to change rules to allow states to observe daylight saving time year-round. The other to initiate a DOT rulemaking process to allow the whole state to observe EST.

The sponsor of the bill, Sarasota Republican Sen. Greg Steube, said Congress will be notified of the state’s intent should SB 858 be passed and signed into law.

When asked how the state could benefit from a unified time zone, Steube said it would help out businesses in the Panhandle.

“Having talked to people who do business out there, it’s actually a real challenge to figure out what time they have to be in Pensacola from Tallahassee and that sort of thing,” Steube said.

Once the amendment was adopted, Steube testified on the bill as a whole. He said the idea for the bill came from people in his barbershop who said their kids had difficulty switching between standard time (‘fall back’) and daylight saving time.

When asked what benefits year-round daylight saving would bring to the state Steube said it would aid owners of tourism shops.

“Because it’s getting darker later, (tourism shops) can’t keep their shops open as long,” Steube said. He said there are statistics showing people are more comfortable shopping in daylight.

Miami Republican Rep. Jeanette Nunez is pushing a year-round daylight saving time bill (HB 1013) in the House, though that bill does not provide the time zone switch for the Panhandle.

Danny McAuliffe

Danny is a contributor at He is a graduate of Fordham Law School and Florida State University, where he served as the editor of the FSView & Florida Flambeau. Reach him at [email protected].


  • Ronald Marhis

    January 23, 2018 at 7:11 pm

    So a state representative and his friends are not intelligent enough to simply subtract one hour when they travel to the central time zone. Now I understand why it takes more than 60 days to complete the states business each year.

    • John Goad

      January 25, 2018 at 9:20 am

      Or they just finally realized how stupid it is to “fall back” in the first place.. getting darker later is not a bad thing… Unless your a vampire…

      • Kim

        January 31, 2018 at 3:34 pm

        “Fall back” is the original time. “Spring forward” or daylight savings time, is what was implemented in the US several decades ago to help businesses have more daylight.

    • Ed Figueroa

      January 29, 2018 at 1:41 pm

      Typical…politicians can’t leave well enough alone…and this imbecile, Steube, isn’t even in my district and he’s making decisions that affect me? Go back to teaching your kids how to count forwards and backward by one!

  • Edward Grier

    January 23, 2018 at 9:19 pm

    GREAT !!!

  • Elijah Bell

    January 23, 2018 at 9:47 pm

    What the heck, finally a bill that makes sense.

  • Lisa McCrary

    January 23, 2018 at 10:26 pm

    I am for the state of Fl adopting daylight savings time year around. I live in the Panhandle for 52 years except for 6 months in 1992. I lived in Homestead. I never got use to the time being an hour fast. Please take a poll of people in the panhandle if they want to change from CST to EST. Before you make the change.

    • Bruce Rutledge

      January 24, 2018 at 7:16 pm

      This panhandler says no to time change. Leave it alone.

      • Abby

        January 31, 2018 at 1:33 pm


  • Mary Lynn Barnawell

    January 24, 2018 at 7:35 am

    No. No. No

  • Kimberly Hagg

    January 24, 2018 at 8:08 am

    A real challenge to figure out how to subtract/add an hour for times zones? Seriously? Why punish us in the Panhandle just because you can’t do simple math?

    • Ross

      January 25, 2018 at 1:45 am

      You guys obviously talking about “just subtract one hour” must have not read the article because that has nothing to do with they are saying. Morons everywhere, it’s quite sad.

      • Cheryl

        January 30, 2018 at 1:23 am

        You must not have read the entire article. The part about subtracting an hour refers to the problem figuring out what time it is in the Panhandle, since it’s in the Central time zone. An official from Sarasota should NOT be deciding what those of us in the Panhandle want to do. To use the term “morons” in your comment referring to others was a bit of a stretch.

  • Donna Watkins

    January 24, 2018 at 8:47 am

    Yes! It would help tourism. It would help not having to get our State business completed before 4 pm CT because Tallahassee is in Eastern time.

  • Randy

    January 24, 2018 at 10:07 am

    Leave the panhandle on central time we do not want to be like the rest of the state. If you have a problem leaving Tallahassee to get into the panhandle on time you may need a new watch. Has for the daylights saving please get rid of it.

  • Amanda

    January 24, 2018 at 11:01 am

    “Because it’s getting darker later, (tourism shops) can’t keep their shops open as long,” Steube said. He said there are statistics showing people are more comfortable shopping in daylight.

    Ummm if it gets darker later, wouldn’t it be lighter later too? Leave the panhandle out of your stuff. You do you boo…eff up the rest of the state.

  • Don

    January 24, 2018 at 11:20 am

    Both bills listed are actually House bills. HB 585 has nothing to do with time change. It deals with Tourists Development Tax. HB 1013 addresses keeping the state on daylight savings time year round. It does not mention anything about putting the entire state on Eastern time. There may be some behind the scene stuff going on but the bill does not mention it. Also HB 1013 at this time does not have a companion bill in the Senate. It needs a companion bill in the Senate. The both houses need to pass their bills.

  • Lisa Shoup

    January 24, 2018 at 12:15 pm

    Keep it as is

  • tracey dwiggins

    January 24, 2018 at 12:34 pm

    Love the idea of staying on daylight savings time but hate the idea of Eastern time change. Pensacola native.

    • Courtney

      January 25, 2018 at 11:37 pm

      Totally agree….spring forward bit leave us central!

  • Michael McMillan

    January 24, 2018 at 1:04 pm

    Which is it? Eastern time and daylight savings time are not the same thing. Eastern Standard time plus daylight savings time is two hours ahead of Central Standard time. If the peninsula remains at current Eastern Standard Time and the panhandle joins EST and the state does NOT observe daylight savings time then I’m good with it – that’s a permanent one hour change, so the panhandle goes one hour ahead and stays there for good. that’s the same as us going to DST and staying there.
    If the panhandle goes an hour ahead to Eastern Standard Time time THEN the whole state observes Daylight Savings time that’s Two Full hours ahead of the panhandle’s usual standard time. I think that’s a ridiculous change for a few people not sharp enough to add one hour going east and subtract one going west. I’ve worked in both time zones and have spent about 16 years with three different jobs where I was in the CT zone and my headquarters was in ET in Tallahassee or Jacksonville. Other than my deadline for ‘close of business’ reports being an hour ahead of the rest of the employees, it was not an issue. My pets, on the other hand, drive me nuts over a one hour change in feeding times, I don’t think we can handle 2. :>)

  • Linda Brown

    January 24, 2018 at 1:57 pm

    No! Do not put the panhandle on Eastern time!

  • Mike Lane

    January 24, 2018 at 4:57 pm

    All this for dummies downstate who can’t subtract by one? This will mess the Panhandle up on sunrises and sunsets. Sure, sunset at 10pm in June will be great, but you’re going to make it to where the sun doesn’t rise before 8am in Pensacola in December? Getthef$%#uttahere!

    • Lara R

      January 25, 2018 at 3:48 pm


  • Bruce Rutledge

    January 24, 2018 at 7:11 pm

    Not only no but HELL no!! Put it to a vote for those affected. If it isn’t broken, don’t mess with it.

    • Jeanne Hooper

      January 28, 2018 at 11:45 pm

      Leave time in the Panhandle alone! Only 50 miles from any of us is the state of Alabama, on CT. Many people in Mobile commute to Pensacola and vice versa. You will just hose everybody up and they will all stop coming to FL to spend their dollars.

  • Mike

    January 24, 2018 at 9:04 pm

    Yes to both. Live in the panhandle and it would be nice for it to not be dark in the winter when I get home from work

    • Josh

      January 25, 2018 at 2:11 pm

      If they change it to eastern time nothing will change we will be another hour ahead

    • Jeanne Hooper

      January 28, 2018 at 11:47 pm

      But do you want to leave for work in the dark? I don’t.

  • Brad

    January 24, 2018 at 11:27 pm

    How about our kids going to the bus stood in the dark that baby more days if the year. NOT SAFE

    • Brad

      January 24, 2018 at 11:28 pm

      To the bus stop that many more days of the year

  • T.K.

    January 25, 2018 at 7:34 am

    Only way this makes since, is if the sun moves faster. Leave it be

  • CAF

    January 25, 2018 at 8:21 am

    I am retired military. I grew up in Central Florida (Ocala). I prefer the time zone the way it is here in Pensacola. I can assure you, most in the Panhandle, prefer being in the central time zone. My suggestion to the congressman is to stay out of the Panhandle. If we want your opinion, we will let you know. I have lived in the Panhandle for 25 years and have yet to hear any of the complaints suggested by the congressman.

    • Lara R

      January 25, 2018 at 3:50 pm

      You are right!! Thank you!!

    • Melanie

      January 29, 2018 at 11:42 am

      Love it!

  • Mike

    January 25, 2018 at 8:26 am

    Coming from Indiana that did not observe DST until a couple of years ago, these politicians have no idea the cost and confusion of doing business when the rest of the country changes times twice a year. Not following DST was a major reason for companies not moving to or doing business with Indiana.

  • Patrick

    January 25, 2018 at 8:56 am

    Not mention if this change happens. The summer activities that require darkness to be fully enjoyed will require a wait till after 10pm at the solstice. I’m not waiting till 1030pm to see firework displays in Pensacola. Also what about the people the work in Alabama. More people from Santa Rosa and Escambia counties work in Alabama then work west of the time zone.

  • Chris Sears

    January 25, 2018 at 1:12 pm

    I live in the Panhandle and love the idea of changing the time zone to take advantage of extra evening daylight hour. I have wanted this for years!!! Imagine NOT having to adjust to time changes twice a year, and not coming home to darkness before 5 PM. Please encourage our lawmakers to pass this bill.

    • GregM

      January 25, 2018 at 10:45 pm

      The time changes you are referring to is the SDT and DST not, I repeat, NOT the time zone. Crying out loud

  • Josh

    January 25, 2018 at 2:09 pm

    I’m on board with the daylight savings but the time zone is a joke it will create the same problem they are trying to do away with with daylight savings

  • Beth Lamborn

    January 25, 2018 at 2:33 pm

    Seriously, leave the panhandle in central time. I really do not want to be a 2 hr time change from my doctor in Mobile. That’s far worse than figuring out an hr going across the Apalachicola River.

  • Lara R

    January 25, 2018 at 3:45 pm

    I don’t want the Eastern time zone!! Can’t people vote on this before it becomes a law??!! Most ridiculous thing I have ever heard…. People have “difficulty “ switching between Daylight Savings Time??!! What is their issue! Been living here all my life & never had issues!! Are they mentally incompetent that it takes “weeks” to adjust??!! Are they serious??!! I just can’t believe it!!!!! 😟😕😕😕

    Sorry to blow up your post but I DEF do not agree to have Eastern time zone & leave the Daylight Savings Time alone…..

  • Gentry

    January 25, 2018 at 6:08 pm

    It’s an old outdated law for farmers to harvest in the fall. Not switching it is stupid. The entire country should do away with it actually since we live in the modern digital age.

  • Sarina

    January 25, 2018 at 7:09 pm

    No leave the time alone.

  • Bobby Sullivan

    January 25, 2018 at 7:52 pm

    Being outdoor people, we would be delighted to have one or two additional hours of daylight in the evening. Please encourage passage of the bill. I also hate not being in the same time zone as my state capitol.

  • Becky Peterson

    January 25, 2018 at 9:00 pm

    I live in the Panhandle and my vote is to keep us on Central time.

  • GregM

    January 25, 2018 at 10:42 pm

    Conversation in a barbershop?!? For crying out loud are you kidding me? You mean to tell me this is what Steube considers important? Leave the time zone alone but change the DST if you just have to do some legislation to get attention.

  • Mike Swanson

    January 26, 2018 at 12:49 am

    This is ridiculous, things have been just fine here in the Panhandle for the last 40 plus years. I haven’t heard anyone complaining that we aren’t in the Eastern time zone so why start now. This is politically motivated in some fashion and the majority in the Panhandle aren’t buying it. As for Daylight Savings Time year round bring it on. An hour of extra daylight in the winter months sounds great!

  • John Chiappini

    January 26, 2018 at 10:32 am

    Leave us out of the eastern time zone. Obviously those of us who live west of the Apalachicola River know how to add and subtract!
    And as far as the time change leave it on standard time.
    FYI there are only24 hours in a day no matter what you do. And the daylight is shorter in the winter, something politicians don’t understand?
    Maybe we should just go to ZULU time?

  • Lara R

    January 26, 2018 at 9:13 pm

    Do NOT want EASTERN Time Zone in the Panhandle!! They need to leave it alone as there is nothing wrong with the way our time zones are as is….. I’m sure there are far more important issues at hand they should be trying to correct, like bettering the school system, taking care of the homeless & mentally challenged, getting crime down, getting all our emergency first responders & police officers better pay for their jobs, etc, just to name a few!! Again, they need to leave Eastern time over in Eastern time. Those who want the EST are more than welcome to move over there…. 😉

    • Kate

      January 29, 2018 at 8:32 pm

      No, no, no! Leave it alone! I totally agree with Lara R. Why are they wasting time on this issue? Concentrate on improving education and creating jobs. We moved to the panhandle specifically because it’s in the central time zone!

  • Cmb

    January 28, 2018 at 7:50 pm

    Leave the panhandle on Central time – we aren’t even considered part of FL on many State/National maps why should someone in Central Fl make a decision that only affects Panhandle-the forgotten part of FL. We can speak for ourselves – NO to time zone change – YES to Day-light saving time!

  • Jeanne Hooper

    January 28, 2018 at 11:51 pm

    Agree 100% Lara R!

  • Sherry B

    January 29, 2018 at 6:53 am

    YES! I have lived in Pensacola my entire life and would much rather be on Eastern time, I can get more things accomplished and have more energy with more daylight. I vote Yes get rid of central tine for Pensacola !

    • Jaxx

      January 29, 2018 at 1:03 pm

      I’m pretty sure that you have the two issues confused. Being on Eastern time doesn’t mean you get more daylight…. that is Daylight Savings Time. Most that I’ve spoken with in Pensacola want to remain on Central Time. AND they want us to observe Daylight Savings Time year round — to get more daylight at the end of the day.

  • Ronald A. Waagner

    January 29, 2018 at 7:35 am

    Representatives from eastern Florida have NO right to mess with west Florida time zones. We will not tolerate making the panhandle part of the eastern time zone. Leave us alone!

    • Kate

      January 29, 2018 at 8:33 pm

      Right on. I agree!

  • Linda Thompson

    January 29, 2018 at 7:51 am

    I want in….the EST zone that is. I want year round daylight savings time. No more ridiculous springing forward and falling back. Lets do away with that! As someone who likes to be outdoors more than indoors, and more time to enjoy it, I want to be on EST. I have to wonder who doesn’t want more daylight hours outdoors in both winter and summer? I know I do!

    • Jaxx

      January 29, 2018 at 1:04 pm

      I’m pretty sure that you have the two issues confused. Being on Eastern time doesn’t mean you get more daylight…. that is Daylight Savings Time. Most that I’ve spoken with in Pensacola want to remain on Central Time. AND they want us to observe Daylight Savings Time year round — to get more daylight at the end of the day.

  • Ronald A. Wagner

    January 29, 2018 at 7:56 am

    This time post my message! The Panhandle does not want to be part of the eastern time zone. We will not stand for it! You have NO RIGHT to force us to do this without our vote to make our opinions known.

  • Constance Edmundson

    January 29, 2018 at 9:41 am

    In the panhandle our elementary schools start at 7:15 am. This will mean that our little ones will have to wake up and be at schools for 2 and a half hours before the sun comes up!!! This is a bad idea! Kids are more important than stores !!
    Let’s fall back , then switch to eastern time! That will give the kids plenty of daylight to get to school safe!

  • W Greene

    January 29, 2018 at 5:29 pm

    I agree with Lara R. NO, NEVER NEVER change the Panhandle to Eastern Time Zone.
    My husband feels the same way.

  • Barbara Roy

    January 29, 2018 at 11:43 pm

    No changes to Central Time Zone for the Panhandle, I like it the way it is. The lawmakers and other need to learn how to reset their watches or use their cell phones which will change when they go from one time zone to another.
    How about our Panhandle Representatives put a bill in to change the whole State to CENTRAL TIME.
    I do like the Daylight Savings Time bill.
    Remember these are to separate issues.

  • Lorrie

    January 30, 2018 at 1:13 am

    Please. Sit on your butt. Behind a desk. And come up with something useful please. #Noest

  • Carolyn Jacobs

    January 30, 2018 at 11:48 am

    I agree. No one here wants it. If you dont like it move!

  • Carolyn Jacobs

    January 30, 2018 at 11:50 am

    I am wondering where the petition is to stop it.

  • Debbie

    January 30, 2018 at 4:46 pm

    I like the idea of all of Florida being on eastern time.. It will be more
    comfortable to run errands after work and possibly exercise outdoors
    after work..

  • Barry

    January 31, 2018 at 6:51 am

    I am opposed to moving the Panhandle to Eastern Time. The downside to ET is that it gets light an hour later in the morning. As someone who wakes by an alarm clock, rather than sunrise, I like seeing sunshine on my way to work. This seems like a solution to a minimal problem to be imposed by those least affected by the change. Additionally, if the Panhandle moves to ET and FL goes to permanent daylight time, this will play havoc with television schedules in Pensacola where the local Pensacola station would be in EDT while the remaining stations, located in Mobile, would be 2 hours behind. I hate changing the clocks twice a year, but think that it would be better if the region or nation went to permanent daylight time rather than only Florida.

  • Laura

    January 31, 2018 at 9:28 am

    Yes to the whole bill. Kids in much of the nation wait for school in the darkness during winter, it is not a big deal. It is not any less safe, those kids aren’t randomly abducted or hit by cars just because they are waiting while it is dark out. I did this the entire time I was in grade school and never felt unsafe, and this was coming from the supposed “5th most dangerous city” in the country. More sunshine in the evening hours would be wonderful and unifying the timezone in the state makes perfect sense from an economical and convenience standpoint. It would also lead to less accidents during rush hour.

  • Ken Short

    January 31, 2018 at 11:57 am

    Wow, a person from Sarasota knows how I live. The previous comments: 3 of 4 TV stations are in Alabama & are not ABC/Disney. Animals don’t have clocks – daylight is daylight. They also give a better weather report. Phones & coverage come from FL while the farm is in AL. If one has problem with rest, learn how to get ones self clock working. Now, as retired Army, keep up with around the world – as a civilian, Prime Contractor in Texas, sub in California with sites in other countries. A son that may be in Alaska, Iraq or A-Stan (1/2) time zone difference & another in Miami or Atlanta. We used to know how to count, keep notes or journals. Now most have an electronic device that has all the information and this bill is to keep people from being confused?

Comments are closed.


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