Courtesy photo

Courtesy photo

State lawmakers seek permanent daylight saving time in Washington

Senate and House are working toward compromise on two bills; voters could decide in November election

By Madeline Coats, WNPA Olympia News Bureau

OLYMPIA — Washington residents could vote to make daylight saving time year-round under a bill state senators passed on March 12.

Engrossed Substitute Senate Bill 5139 was approved in a 46-3 vote, just two days after clocks were set forward. The measure is co-sponsored by a bipartisan group of five senators and was introduced by Sen. Jim Honeyford, R-Sunnyside. This is the third year in a row Honeyford has pitched the daylight saving bill.

“With the time change, we find there’s more auto accidents, more heart attacks, more strokes and children don’t do as well on tests in school,” Honeyford said.

According to the proposed legislation, research has shown that changing between standard time and daylight saving time has negative effects on public health, agriculture, economic growth and crime. Scientific studies indicate a number of health consequences as a result of the time switch, including increased suicide rates and more frequent workplace injuries, according to the bill.

ESSB 5139 includes a referendum for the residents of Washington state to vote on the adoption or rejection of year-round daylight saving time at the next general election in November 2019.

The bill requires approval from U.S. Congress to amend federal laws allowing states to remain on daylight saving time. President Donald Trump voiced his support for the idea on Monday, tweeting: “Making Daylight Saving Time permanent is O.K. with me!”

In an attempt to create more consistency, California, Oregon and Idaho are also working on legislation to eliminate the semiannual time change.

Sen. Mark Mullet, D-Issaquah, spoke in support of the bill, saying that the measure sends a powerful message to the federal government to take the issue seriously.

“I think the important piece about the referendum clause is we’re sending a message to Washington, D.C., about what the residents of Washington state think about the option of going to permanent daylight savings time,” he said.

Substitute House Bill 1196 was passed by the House of Representatives in a 89-7 vote on March 9. The legislation allows the state to follow Pacific Daylight Time throughout the year, should federal law change.

The House and Senate will now work toward a compromise on differences between the two bills.


In consideration of how we voice our opinions in the modern world, we’ve closed comments on our websites. We value the opinions of our readers and we encourage you to keep the conversation going.

Please feel free to share your story tips by emailing editor@bellevuereporter.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.bellevuereporter.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) We reserve the right to edit letters, but if you keep yours to 300 words or less, we won’t ask you to shorten it.

More in Northwest

UW doctor offers answers about COVID-19

Who should get tested? Who can get coronavirus? Staying at home key to stop spreading

Washington scrambles to boost supply of life-saving protective items for healthcare workers

State officials say they had to be “creative” to obtain protective equipment in global demand.

Gov. Jay Inslee discusses the COVID-19 pandemic and the state’s response during a press conference on Thursday, March 26. Screenshot
Inslee: Stay-at-home orders must continue to completely eliminate COVID-19

Slight decrease in rate of new coronavirus cases, but residents must continue to hunker down.

COVID-19 gathering restriction delays funerals

For one funeral home owner, the confusion came to a head after a recent service.

Legislators request unemployment assistance for independent contractors

Federal funds for hairdressers, high tech coders and others

Activists want rent, mortgage suspensions

Moratoriums on evictions won’t be enough, say some.

Governor: Stay at home — and that’s now an order

Jay Inslee on Monday took an aggressive new step to curb social interactions as coronavirus deaths rise.

Most Read