Washington state bill proposes permanent switch to Pacific Standard Time

OLYMPIA, Wash (AIEXPRESS) – A new bill in Washington state is proposing a permanent switch to Pacific Standard Time.

Local legislators have been actively expressing concerns about the potential health risks associated with the practice of “Springing Forward” and “Falling Back” for Daylight Saving Time. A recently proposed bill aims to eliminate the need for Washington state residents to endure the inconvenient 1-hour time change.

The biannual time changes have shown both advantages and disadvantages. Although we may enjoy longer daylight hours, adapting to the time change can actually have negative effects on our health.

According to Senate Bill 5795, daylight savings has been linked to various negative public health effects, as well as an increase in traffic accidents and crime.

Scientific studies have linked several health consequences to the practice of switching between standard time and daylight saving time. These consequences include an increased risk of heart attacks, more frequent workplace injuries, and higher suicide rates in the days following the switch.

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State senators Mike Padden (R) and Manka Dhingra (D) teamed up to introduce the bill on December 4, 2023. They actively participated in a public hearing held in the Senate Committee on Tuesday.

During the hearing, the committee questioned Senators Padden and Dhingra about their reluctance to switch to Daylight Savings Time instead of standard time. They defended their stance by highlighting that Congress had previously expressed support for this change in 2019, although it did not come to fruition. By adopting Pacific Standard Time, the need for congressional approval would be eliminated.

Other states on PST, such as Oregon, California, Nevada, and North Idaho, also had concerns regarding the inconsistencies in time zones. Senator Padden emphasized that these states are also considering passing similar legislation in order to eliminate Daylight Savings Time.

Washington would officially switch to PST on November 4 if the bill makes its way to the Governor’s Desk and is signed.

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