Let’s “ditch the switch!” and have year-round standard time in Washington

Note: The following e-newsletter was sent to Sen. Padden’s subscribers November 20, 2023. To subscribe to Sen. Padden’s newsletter, click here.

Dear friends and neighbors,

In November, Americans in nearly every state were forced to adjust to the annual switch from daylight saving time back to standard time.

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. It confuses and annoys many people, and it causes health problems for some. That’s why state Sen. Kim Thatcher of Oregon and I are working together to see if our respective legislatures will agree to keep our states’ clocks on standard time year-round. We will each introduce legislation to do so in our upcoming legislative sessions.

In 2019, I supported the passage of a state law in Washington calling for year-round daylight saving time. However, that law will not take effect until the federal government approves the same change.

In 2022, I 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.

Sen. Thatcher and I have contacted legislators in California, Idaho and Nevada to see if they also will introduce year-round standard-time 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.

Since Sen. Thatcher and I two weeks ago announced our plans to introduce legislation to switch our states to year-round standard time, there have been several news stories about this popular issue, including reports by KPBX Radio in Spokane, The Center Square  and KING-TV in Seattle. Click here to hear my interview with KONA Radio, in the Tri-Cities.

If you have questions about how to participate in state government this year or thoughts to share on anything in this e-newsletter, please give me a call or send me an email.

Thank you, as always, for the honor of serving as your state senator!

Here’s wishing you and everyone else a happy and safe Thanksgiving!

Best Regards,

Senator Mike Padden

Crime, drug problems still plaguing Washington

Over the past few years, crime has worsened in Washington, whether it is violent crime, retail theft, auto theft or other offenses. Much of the rising crime in our state can be blamed on laws passed by our Democratic majorities in the Legislature, including the disastrous 2021 laws that restricted law-enforcement officers from pursuing suspects and weakened penalties for hard-drug possession down to a misdemeanor.  

Two weeks ago, Axios in Seattle posted a story saying that Washington’s violent crime rate continues to increase. According to the article, there were 375.6 reported violent crimes for every 100,000 people in Washington last year, compared to 380.7 violent crimes per 100,000 people nationally, according to the FBI’s data. The story also noted that Washington’s violent crime rate was about 1% below the U.S. rate in 2022. That is a significant rise from 2012, when the state’s violent crime rate was about 23% below the national rate.

I recently did a seven-minute live phone interview with Portland-based talk-show host Lars Larson, whose show is carried throughout the Northwest. We discussed the current crime problem in Washington, and how it is fueled partly by the ongoing restrictions on law-enforcement officers to pursue suspects, as well as the continuing problem with hard drugs, especially fentanyl.

Although our Legislature last session passed a bill that slightly increased the penalty for serious drug possession from a misdemeanor to what is essentially a hybrid between a misdemeanor and a gross misdemeanor, that will not be enough to persuade drug offenders to seek needed treatment. The threat of felony punishment would be a stronger tool to convince offenders to go into treatment.  

Speaking at Veterans Day event

On November 11, I had the honor of joining other elected officials and local veterans at the Veterans Day event at Pines Cemetery, hosted by American Legion Post 241. During the ceremony, I spoke to the gathering about the importance of honoring America’s veterans for their service to our nation, and recent laws passed by the Legislature that help veterans. Thanks to all of our veterans!

Addressing Liberty Lake City Council about condo legislation

On November 8, I attended the Liberty Lake City Council meeting and told councilors there about my  legislation for next session that would expand on a new state law passed last session that makes it easier for small condominium buildings to be constructed. That new law, which I introduced, specifically exempts buildings with 12 or fewer units that are no more than two stories from the definition of a “multiunit” residential building. The 2024 bill would allow the construction of such condo buildings to include a third level for parking or retail stores.

Partnering with California, Quebec on a carbon market coalition?!

Early this month, the state Department of Ecology announced it is considering joining a carbon market coalition with California and the Canadian province of Quebec.

Soon after DOE announced this news, KHQ-TV in Spokane did a Zoom interview with me on this topic. I pointed out how such a move could increase carbon costs, which in turn could raise gasoline prices yet again. People are very worried making ends meet, and another gas-price hike will really hurt their wallets. You can watch that news story, including the interview, here.

Contact us!

If you have a question or concern about state government, please do not hesitate to contact our office. During the interim we are conducting business from our district office in Spokane Valley. We are here to serve you!

Phone: (509) 921-2460

Email address: Mike.Padden@leg.wa.gov

PLEASE NOTE: Any email or documents you provide to this office may be subject to disclosure under RCW 42.56. If you would prefer to communicate by phone, please contact Sen. Padden’s Olympia office at (360) 786-7606.

To request public records from Sen. Padden, please contact Randi Stratton, the designated public records officer for the Secretary of the Senate and Senate members.