Saving daylight: Lawmakers aim to have Washington ‘fall back’ one last time

Oct 28, 2019, 9:06 AM | Updated: Nov 2, 2019, 8:18 am
Daylight Saving Time...
One final "fall back" in Washington? (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
(Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

During the last legislative session, Washington passed a bill to permanently keep the state in Daylight Saving Time. So why are we still rolling our clocks back at 2 a.m. on Nov. 3?

‘No good reason’ for Daylight Saving says UW Medicine

There were a few bills this past legislative session that would have kept us on one time or another all year long. In the end, it was Washington State Democratic Rep. Marcus Riccelli’s bill that made it to the governor’s desk.

Riccelli’s bill moves Washington to permanent Daylight Saving Time — that means the sun rises later and sets later, giving us extra daylight in the afternoon like we do in summer. Gov. Jay Inslee signed the bill into law in May, and Riccelli had initially hoped we could avoid having to fall back in November.

“We want to ditch the switch and end this annoying practice, [but] we’re not where we want to be,” said Riccelli.

In order for Washington to remain on Daylight Saving Time for good, one of two things needs to occur: U.S. Congress passes legislation granting the state a federal waiver, or the U.S. Secretary of Transportation approves the move himself.

Riccelli suspects the latter of the two options is the most viable, given the speed (or lack there of) legislation tends to move at in Congress.

Meanwhile, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio has a bill in Congress proposing the entire country adopt year-round Daylight Saving Time.

While that inches its way though the U.S. Senate, Washington remains in a holding pattern with its own legislation.

What needs to happen?

When it comes to granting federal waivers to individual states, a state will need to prove that local commerce with neighboring states won’t be affected. Washington’s case is particularly strong, with both Oregon and Nevada passing their own Daylight Saving Time bills, British Columbia considering a similar move, and Idaho passing a resolution saying it would support Washington’s switch.

The cherry on top: California continues to weigh its own similar legislation.

“I think there’s plenty of interest in our time zone to get this done,” said Riccelli.

California lawmakers are expected to take their own bill back up when they get back for the second half of their session in January. But there has also been some hesitation among some lawmakers there, who think switching to permanent standard time is the better option. Because of that, the bill’s sponsor is taking time to meet with constituents before session starts.

Why not standard time?

The benefit of staying on standard time is that it doesn’t require federal approval. That said, Riccelli argues that permanent Daylight Saving Time is far more beneficial.

“Just from an overall health care perspective, it seems to me that permanent Daylight Saving Time makes more sense,” he described.

During the process to get Washington’s legislation passed, University of Washington law professor Steve Calandrillo outlined a laundry list of benefits for staying on DST.

That includes a claim that the evening rush hour is twice as deadly as the morning rush hour.

Permanent Daylight Saving bill passes in Olympia — here’s what’s next

“Forty-three lives would be saved every single year by going to permanent daylight saving time,” he told the Legislature back in April.

Calandrillo also pointed to data indicating that staying in Daylight Saving Time would actually reduce crime.

“Criminals like to work in darkness — they are late to bed and late to rise, and so my goal is to take an hour of criminals’ work day,” he said.

So, where does all that leave us as far as actually ditching the switch?

“I’m hoping that we will be able to fall back, switch to permanent Daylight Saving Time [next March], and never switch our clocks again after that,” Rep. Riccelli vowed. “By this time next year, my goal is that we are not switching our clocks.”

Other states and territories that currently observe Daylight Saving Time year-round include American Samoa, Guam, the Minor Outlying Islands, the Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Both Hawaii and Arizona (with the exception of tribal lands) observe standard time year-round.

Local News

Ted Buehner

Dry summers delay changes in leaves, but brilliant autumn colors around the corner

This sunny dry weather is expected to continue through Columbus Day Weekend, providing more unseasonably warm weather for enjoying fall hues.
23 hours ago
Hanna Scott

No timeline for Office of Independent Investigations use of force cases to begin

“The new Office of Independent Investigation will increase transparency and trust in investigations of deadly uses of force by law enforcement."
23 hours ago
Nicole Jennings

Postseason baseball within reach for Mariners, starved fans

With playoffs closer than ever, Mariners fans await tonight's results with baited breath
23 hours ago
Hanna Scott

Report discovers troubling gap between BIPOC, white homeowners in Washington state

More than 143,000 BIPOC households would need to become homeowners to close the gap between white and BIPOC households in Washington.
23 hours ago
Sam Campbell

Edmonds high school student arrested for bringing ‘ghost gun’ to school

Edmonds Police Department (EDP) thanking the vigilance of one student who they say spoke up when they knew a fellow 15-year-old student brought a loaded gun to class at Edmonds-Woodway High School Thursday.
23 hours ago
Photo from KIRO 7...
KIRO 7 News Staff

Olympia woman facing fines over ‘Black Lives Matter’ sign inside her home

An Olympia woman is being threatened with fines over a sign hanging inside her home.
23 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Anacortes Christmas Tree...

Come one, come all! Food, Drink, and Coastal Christmas – Anacortes has it all!

Come celebrate Anacortes’ 11th annual Bier on the Pier! Bier on the Pier takes place on October 7th and 8th and features local ciders, food trucks and live music - not to mention the beautiful views of the Guemes Channel and backdrop of downtown Anacortes.
Swedish Cyberknife Treatment...

The revolutionary treatment of Swedish CyberKnife provides better quality of life for majority of patients

There are a wide variety of treatments options available for men with prostate cancer. One of the most technologically advanced treatment options in the Pacific Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform at Swedish Medical Center.
Work at Zum Services...

Seattle Public Schools announces three-year contract with Zum

Seattle Public Schools just announced a three-year contract with a brand-new company to the Pacific Northwest to assist with their student transportation: Zum.
Swedish Cyberknife 900x506...

June is Men’s Health Month: Here’s Why It’s Important To Speak About Your Health

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, men in the United States, on average, die five years earlier than women.

Anacortes – A Must Visit Summertime Destination

While Anacortes is certainly on the way to the San Juan Islands (SJI), it is not just a destination to get to the ferry… Anacortes is a destination in and of itself!

Ready for your 2022 Alaskan Adventure with Celebrity Cruises?

Celebrity Cruises SPONSORED — A round-trip Alaska cruise from Seattle is an amazing treat for you and a loved one. Not only are you able to see and explore some of the most incredible and visually appealing natural sights on the planet, but you’re also able to relax and re-energize while aboard a luxury cruise […]
Saving daylight: Lawmakers aim to have Washington ‘fall back’ one last time