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Daylight Saving Time could be here to stay

OLYMPIA, Washington — One the eve of “spring forward,” the Washington House of Representatives voted in favor of a bill that would put Washington state on year-round Daylight Saving Time. Sponsored by Rep. Marcus Riccelli (D-Spokane) House Bill 1196 passed by a bipartisan vote of 89 to 7.

“It’s time to ditch the switch, bring the light, and defeat the dark night,“ Riccelli said.  “Washington is already on Daylight Saving Time eight months out of the year. There’s strong interest in making it permanent.”

Riccelli, who sits on the Health Care & Wellness Committee, originally came to the bill from a health care perspective. A health impact review from the Washington State Department of Health discusses the effects of changing clocks twice a year on the body’s natural rhythms. The switch is associated with a spike in heart attacks, strokes, and even traffic collisions each year.

Riccelli also says that extended daylight in the evening is better for kids who play sports or want to be active outside.

“At a time when childhood obesity rates are rising, anything that supports healthy physical activity for kids – whether it’s organized sports or just playing outside with friends – is good for the health of our next generation,” Riccelli said.

If HB 1196 makes it through the Senate and gets approval from Gov. Jay Inslee, the state won’t automatically switch to year-round Daylight Saving Time. That would be up to the federal government, which has to give permission for the state to “ditch the switch.”

Sen. Patty Murray (D-Washington) has expressed interest in seeing the bill pass the Legislature and having a federal conversation around the issue.

The bill now heads to the Washington Senate for consideration.

Oregon is also considering a similar move.

Senate Bill 320 abolishes the annual one-hour change in time to Standard Time and maintains Oregon on Daylight Saving Time. The bill would continue daylight saving time at 2 a.m. on Nov. 7, 2021, with a final decision made by voters in the November 2022 general election. The bill is on the docket for today’s meeting of the Senate Committee on Business and General Government. The California Legislature is also considering keeping DST, and western Canada has expressed an interest, if Washington, Oregon, and California make the change.

According to Fox News, even President Trump appears to be tired of switching clocks just like everyone else.

Coming off a universally sleep-deprived weekend during which America springs forward and loses an hour of sleep, Trump tweeted that he’s approves of sticking with Daylight Saving Time.

“Making Daylight Saving Time permanent is O.K. with me,” Trump tweeted Monday.

Federal approval is only necessary if states want to stay with Daylight Saving Time. No such approval is needed for deciding to stay with Standard Time. Arizona and Hawaii currently don’t spring forward.

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