Washington State Considers Staying on Pacific Daylight Time Forever
As everyone is expected to switch their clocks forward by one hour at the beginning of daylight saving time in two weeks, it could be the last time they are doing it.
Washington state lawmakers are considering several proposals to adopt year-round Pacific Daylight Time that will end the twice-a-year switch between it and Pacific Standard Time.
It is not the first time an idea like this has popped up. Measures have been introduced in Washington, and other states, to eliminate the time change. But as per the sponsors of the bill, this is the first year that it seems to have the momentum to succeed.
It should be noted that the previous bills proposed the adoption of permanent standard time, which we use in winter. According to Sen. Jim Honeyford of Sunnyside, staying on Standard Time of Winter proved to be an unpopular idea.
What people want is that extra hour of light in the evening rather than the morning, said Sen. Sam Hunt, D-Olympia. He is among the sponsors of Senate Bill 5139. A similar proposal, House Bill 1196, is working its way through that chamber.
Californian voters have supported a measure to adopt permanent daylight time. Washington legislators say that could tip the balance for our state.
“What California did change the conversation,” Hunt said.
He said the bill is under consideration in the Senate’s State Government, Tribal Relations & Elections Committee and is expected to get the votes needed to move forward.
If the bill passes, the law will go into effect next year.
According to Hunt and other sponsors, it’s critical that the West Coast be unified in their approach to the time change, or the elimination of it.
As of now, Oregon and Idaho also are considering the change.
Both bills moving through Washington’s Legislature propose that the observation of year-round daylight time be authorized by Congress.
If the Congress does not authorize, legislators are proposing that the state seek approval to change Washington to year-round Mountain Standard Time, which would have the same effect.
Other states are trying to get off the time teeter-totter as well. Last year, Florida had passed the Sunshine Protection Act, and a similar bill is scheduled to appear before the Tennessee Legislature this session.
As of now, Arizona and Hawaii are the only two states that don’t observe Daylight Saving Time. Along with these two states, the territories of American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands also do not use it.