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Washington Daylight Saving bill ‘unlikely’ to take effect in 2020

One final "fall back" in Washington? (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Last spring, the Washington Legislature passed a bill to keep the state in Daylight Saving Time permanently, pending the approval of a federal waiver. Almost a year later, the state remains in a holding pattern.

‘The time has come’ to fix Daylight Saving

“[There hasn’t been] a lot of communication,” said Rep. Marcus Riccelli, the original sponsor of the bill in Washington state. “Our state did our part … and I was hopeful that it would pick up Congressional steam.”

With the whole country now on Daylight Saving Time in 2020, that momentum appears to have slowed to a crawl.

One of two things needs to happen before October 1 for Washington to remain in DST for good — either Congress would have to vote to approve the measure, or the U.S. Secretary of Transportation could grant the go-ahead “with the stroke of a pen.”

Neither appear likely to happen by that October deadline, though, with Rep. Riccelli saying that he’s “unfortunately, 30% confident” in March being Washington state’s final “spring forward.”

“I really would like to see this done by fall, but it’s becoming more and more unlikely,” he admitted.

If approval doesn’t come in before then, Washington would have to wait until spring 2021 while it continues to wait on the federal government’s say-so.

Pushing it over the finish line ultimately comes down to how quickly Congress can mobilize.

Opinion: Follow California’s lead and stay in Daylight Saving Time

“[We] really need that continued pressure on Congress,” Riccelli noted. “Washington did our part to try and move this forward. Now it’s time for our federal partners to step up.”

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.

California is currently in its own legislative holding pattern for a measure identical to the one passed in Washington.

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