As people across America adjust to this past weekend’s switch from daylight saving time to standard time, state senators in Washington and Oregon are planning to introduce bills early next year to put their states on standard time year-round.
This is not the first time the lawmakers have sought to end the twice-yearly clock changes.
“I introduced Senate Bill 320 in 2019 that would change Oregon to permanent daylight saving time,” said Sen. Kim Thatcher, R-Keizer, who serves Oregon’s District 11. “Even though the bill passed it was contingent on Washington and California passing a similar bill and then all the states seeking permission from the federal government. Washington passed a bill but California never did, though their people overwhelmingly passed a proposition in 2018 to ditch the switch.”
In 2019, Sen. Mike Padden, who serves Washington’s 4th District, supported the passage of a state law in Washington calling for year-round daylight saving time, which will not take effect until the federal government approves the same change.
“If there is one issue most people agree on, it’s the dislike of moving their clocks from standard time to daylight saving time in the spring and then back to standard time in the fall,” said Padden, R-Spokane Valley, who will introduce his year-round standard-time bill when Washington’s 2024 session begins Jan. 8.
“It confuses and annoys many people, and it causes health problems for some. That’s why Senator Thatcher and I are working together to see if our respective legislatures can keep our clocks on standard time year-round,” added Padden.
In 2022, Padden co-sponsored Senate Bill 5511, a bipartisan measure that would have exempted Washington from observing daylight saving time until the state could move to Pacific Daylight Time year-round. SB 5511 was not approved by the Senate.
During Oregon’s 2023 legislative session Thatcher introduced Senate Bill 1090, a bipartisan bill that would have kept Oregon on standard time year-round and halted the state’s annual switch from standard time to daylight saving time.
Thatcher and Padden said they have contacted legislators in California, Idaho and Nevada to see if they will introduce similar bills in those states.
Arizona and Hawaii are the only states on permanent standard time. Because Congress has already decided states may be on permanent standard time if they choose, Oregon and Washington would not need the federal government to pass a bill authorizing the two states to be on year-round standard time.