Effort to end central time zone in Northwest Florida removed from legislation

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (Press Release) - Calling it another case of a solution in search of a problem, Senator George Gainer (R-Panama City) along with fellow legislators Representative Brad Drake (R-Eucheeanna), Representative Jay Trumbull (R-Panama City), Representative Mel Ponder (R-Destin), Representative Jayer Williamson (R-Pace), Senator Doug Broxson (R-Pensacola) and Senator Bill Montford (D-Tallahassee) worked to remove language from legislation requiring Northwest Florida to drop the Central Time Zone and move into the Eastern Time Zone. That effort was killed Monday when Senate Bill 858 was amended to keep Florida’s geographic time zones just as they are now.

“This proposal was made without any input from the residents of Northwest Florida, those who would have been directly impacted,” said Senator Gainer. “Without first a vote in Northwest Florida I was adamantly opposed to this effort. So instead the Northwest Florida delegation convinced the Senate bill sponsor to remove the language. The people of Northwest Florida can rest assured that their time zone will not change until they vote to change it.”

Ten Florida counties currently reside within the Central Time Zone, while Florida’s remaining 57 counties are in the Eastern Time Zone with the dividing line being the Apalachicola River.