The time is always right to do the right thing.
I didn't say that, Martin Luther King did. And someone else made it a meme:
I'm not as quotable, but I'd like to add a similar thought:
There's always enough time
to do the right thing.
Not as catchy, but important, I think.
The Florida legislature just passed a bill that takes a HUGE step forward in ending the 100-year-old practice of Daylight Saving Time.
While legislators have been trying for years to pass something, all of them have failed, until now. That's why this is so huge.
Now what they passed is interesting, because it doesn't fix the problem directly. Leave it to a woman -- or two women in this case -- to come up with the smart solution.
What the bill says is that if the U.S. Congress ever fixes the national law, at that point Florida would like to go to permanent Daylight Saving Time.
It's brilliant. What these two women — Jeanette Nunez and Heather Fitzenhagen — came up with is a way to give their fellow legislators a chance to vote for something that doesn't come with a high political risk.
They should get lots of credit, and I hope they do. So far it seems like more of the media attention has gone to Greg Steube, who had a bill with a cool title, "The Sunshine Protection Act." But it's the language from Nunez and Fitzenhagen that won the day.
Not the most important thing for the Florida Legislature
Ever since I started this movement, I've seen the internet trolls complaining: Is this really the most important thing our lawmakers should be doing?
Of course it's not.
Especially in Florida. My view is that the legislature really needs to listen to the kids from Parkland, and do what they say. History will not look kindly on those who oppose what these kids are working for. Join them, or join those who will go down in the history books as opposing progress.
But there's plenty of hours in the day. Legislators can vote to keep kids safe, and then vote to fix the clocks, and still be home in time to head to a beachside bar and watch the sun set.
There's always enough time to do the right thing.
How historic is this vote?
It's hard to say exactly how historic this is. Only after Daylight Saving Time clock-changing has been consigned to the dustbin of history will we be able to look back and know what the key moments were in the efforts to fix it.
I'd like to think that when this blog started, that was a key moment. Or the first time a state adopted language that I proposed.
But the reality is that there are a thousand things that will have helped. Every meme. Every funny video. I've tried to capture that zeitgeist on this blog.
Maybe it was when I first appeared on CNN.com.
Maybe it was when I got the great hashtag #LockTheClock from Peter Lucido, who worked very hard to get the law changed in Michigan. He hasn't succeeded yet, but maybe with this Florida language he can make some more progress.
Maybe it was when Ro Khanna got elected to the U.S. Congress. He seems to be the only one talking about fixing the federal law that's in a position to do so. People are a bit... distracted... right now in DC, so I understand why it's not moving along quickly. I've even written that now is not the time to push it forward just because of all the current disfunction.
In short, we may never know exactly what the tipping point was.
But we do know that this is a very good day.
Congratulations to all those who got this passed in Florida. I'll now work hard to see that every other state passes a bill that looks a lot like this, and then we can pass the baton to Rep. Khanna and hopefully some others in Washington, and the deadly and disruptive time changing will be a thing of the past.