Tanner Andrews mug

Tanner Andrews

By the time you read this, the equinox should be at least a couple of weeks behind us. Yet, when we get out of bed, it is still dark.

The reason for this is a miracle of modern legislation known as daylight saving time. It is not savings, though you may see it thus. The idea is that, by an act of Congress, we can have more daylight per day.

Congress is not always effective. Yet, when it is effective, we often wish it were not. The main objection I heard to Trump’s recent government shutdown is that it did not include Congress.

That is not to say that they cannot accomplish mischief in Tallahassee as well. A probate judge once observed that “No man’s life, liberty or property are safe while the Legislature is in session.”

As well, no one’s children are safe going to school when the Legislature is in session. Last year, the Legislature passed what they hoped would be a year-round daylight saving time act. The plan was that we would have dark mornings year-round.

This should work out well, with kids usually going to school in the dark. If the school has windows, the dark may also offer less distraction during the first classes of the day.

It is in times like this that we should be glad that the Legislature is not particularly competent.

Their bill said that, should Congress allow, they intended to have daylight saving time year-round. Fortunately, they screwed up, forgetting to actually decree year-round daylight saving time.

Nonetheless, Sen. Marco Rubio is at work in Washington. Sorry to dredge up memories of D.C. and Rubio. Anyway, he has introduced a bill to allow Florida to have daylight saving time year-round.

The sensible thing to do would be to have daylight saving time west of the Apalachicola, so that the whole state could be in one time zone, but Congress is not famous for doing sensible things. Our state Legislature, perhaps due to its proximity to Chattahoochee, also eschews sensible actions.

Instead of showing good sense, we have both legislative bodies working to provide us with the Perpetual Darkness Act of 2019. Personally, I fail to appreciate it, but at least we know what Congress is thinking — it is much better to keep the public in the dark!

— Andrews is a DeLand-area attorney and a longtime government critic. For purposes of this column, he finds it convenient that there is so much government to criticize.