Joe Henderson: Save us from spring forward, fall back


The ritual of spring forward, fall back has always seemed stupid to me. Just settle on a single time schedule and stick with it — daylight saving, Eastern Standard, whatever.

The bouncing back and forth every few months is a pain in the neck, not to mention disorienting. You have to change all the clocks and watches in your house, car, and wherever. Schedules and sleep patterns get disrupted during the changeovers, and for what?

That’s why I’m hopeful about a ploy from state Sen. Greg Steube to get Florida united under Eastern Standard Time, and then to observe daylight saving time all year.

He attached an amendment to SB 585 to bring the western part of Florida, which is currently in the Central time zone, in line with the rest of the state.

He is right about the confusion that can result from someone in Jacksonville trying to do business with someone in Pensacola, since the cities are in the same state but different time zones. We need a consistent way of telling the time.

I know the arguments against daylight saving — particularly the one that says school kids can have to wait in the dark for their morning bus.

Objection noted.

That’s why I wouldn’t raise a hissy fit if we just stuck with standard time. I’d prefer to stay under daylight saving, but it’s no big deal either way.

As with most things, there have been a lot of studies that reach contradictory conclusions about which time-keeping system is best.

The website Smart Asset reported one study said daylight savings cost the nation $1.7 billion annually, partly because we spend time doing things like changing clocks than instead of something more productive, like watching Property Brothers or something.

Other studies put the actual cost much lower.

I couldn’t care less about the cost estimates. That’s all accounting gobbledygook anyway.

How about we make the change just because it seems like the thing to do?

Danny McAuliffe reported for Florida Politics that Steube got the idea during a trip to his barber shop, which is where all great ideas are hatched. Patrons talked about how changing back and forth between time standards messes with school kids.

Well, it can be confusing.

I’ll also admit that those first few days when we “fall back” and it gets dark around 5 p.m. are really depressing. That’s not we need in the Sunshine State.

If this gets past the Legislature, it will take an act of Congress to make the change official. Could be a problem, since Congress doesn’t ever seem to figuratively know the time of the day, let alone how to come together and pass a common-sense change.

We can hope though.

In the meantime, set your alarms for March 11.

That’s when daylight saving time begins again.

Spring forward. With any luck, maybe we won’t have to fall back again.

Joe Henderson

I have a 45-year career in newspapers, including nearly 42 years at The Tampa Tribune. Florida is wacky, wonderful, unpredictable and a national force. It's a treat to have a front-row seat for it all.


Florida Politics is a statewide, new media platform covering campaigns, elections, government, policy, and lobbying in Florida. This platform and all of its content are owned by Extensive Enterprises Media.

Publisher: Peter Schorsch @PeterSchorschFL

Contributors & reporters: Phil Ammann, Drew Dixon, Roseanne Dunkelberger, A.G. Gancarski, Anne Geggis, Ryan Nicol, Jacob Ogles, Cole Pepper, Gray Rohrer, Jesse Scheckner, Christine Sexton, Drew Wilson, and Mike Wright.

Email: [email protected]
Twitter: @PeterSchorschFL
Phone: (727) 642-3162
Address: 204 37th Avenue North #182
St. Petersburg, Florida 33704