Washington may soon eliminate Daylight Savings Time and abandon the clock-changing practice

Say goodbye to the hassle of adjusting your clock twice a year.

On Tuesday, the Washington Senate State Government and Elections Committee conducted a hearing on a bipartisan bill aimed at permanently transitioning Washington to Pacific Standard Time year-round. If approved, this legislation would eliminate the practice of changing clocks back one hour in the fall and forward one hour in the spring.

A recent poll conducted by Monmouth University revealed that 61% of Americans are in favor of discontinuing the biannual practice.

Legislators are making a second attempt to put an end to daylight saving time. In 2019, they successfully passed a similar bill, but transitioning to permanent daylight savings time requires congressional approval.

Sen. Manka Dhingra, D-Redmond, expressed her support for the bill that aims to establish permanent standard time in the state. In a statement, she highlighted the feedback she received from constituents who showed a preference for staying on permanent daylight saving time. To accommodate this preference, the bill includes a trigger mechanism. If Congress grants states the option to choose permanent daylight saving time, the state will switch automatically and permanently.

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However, Congress has already granted states the authority to permanently stay on standard time. Currently, Arizona and Hawaii are the only states that have chosen to exercise this option.

We do not adhere to daylight saving time.

Bill cosponsor Mike Padden, R-Spokane Valley, stated that he is collaborating with lawmakers from California and Oregon to introduce comparable legislation. This legislation aims to establish year-round Pacific Standard time for the three states along the West Coast. The Oregon Legislature is set to commence its 2024 session on Feb. 5, while the California Legislature began on Jan. 3.

In a statement, Padden expressed that the practice of switching between daylight time and standard time is a source of confusion and irritation for many individuals. Furthermore, it has been found to have negative impacts on health for some individuals. This is why Sen. (Kim) Thatcher and Padden are collaborating to explore the possibility of keeping the clocks on standard time year-round in their respective legislatures.

Legislators have also reached out to lawmakers from Idaho and Nevada, urging them to consider enacting similar legislation. If approved, this bill would come into effect on November 4th of this year, coinciding with the end of daylight saving time.

Padden highlights that the concept receives backing from prominent organizations such as the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, the American Medical Association, the National Sleep Foundation, the Sleep Research Society, and the Society for Research on Biological Rhythms.

According to research, the switch between standard time and daylight saving time has been found to have various negative impacts on health. These include increased stress levels, a higher number of car and workplace accidents, and even elevated rates of suicide. Recognizing the significant harm it poses to the well-being of Washingtonians, Dhingra emphasized the urgency of eliminating the practice of adjusting clocks twice a year.

In recent years, there has been bipartisan support for the idea at the federal level as well. In 2021, Senator Patty Murray joined forces with Republican Senator Marco Rubio to write an op-ed in favor of the Sunshine Protection Act. This act aims to make daylight savings time permanent.

In a statement last year to commemorate the start of daylight savings time, Murray expressed empathy towards parents who have put in tremendous effort to establish a consistent sleep routine for their newborns or toddlers. The disruption caused by changing our clocks is something they can truly relate to. Additionally, Murray highlighted that nobody desires the sun to set as early as four o’clock in the afternoon during the winter season.

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