A bill calls for ending daylight-saving time in Washington.
Senate Bill 5329 would implement a year-round Pacific Standard Time. Sponsored by seven Republican senators, the bill received a public hearing in committee Tuesday, but no one testified for or against the idea.
“Research has shown that changing to and from daylight-saving time twice per year has negative impacts on public health, increases traffic accidents and crime, disrupts agriculture scheduling, and hinders economic growth,” according to the bill’s text.
The bill cites health consequences in the days after switching to daylight-saving time, including an increased risk of heart attacks, more workplace injuries and higher suicide rates.
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to The News Tribune
A similar proposal fizzled in 2015. A similar bill in the Senate and House failed to move out of their respective committees and was never voted on by lawmakers.
Oregon tried too, but failed to pass a bill in 2015, and a signature campaign failed to qualify an initiative for the ballot.
Washington voters twice rejected Daylight Saving Time in 1952 and 1954, but in 1960 it passed and the state has had it ever since.
A persuasive argument for passage in 1960 was made by the agricultural industry, claiming the switch would be an economic benefit. Sunnyside Republican Jim Honeyford, a farmer for 20 years and one of the bill’s sponsors, isn’t buying it.
“I think that it was a myth that it was designed for agriculture,” said Honeyford. “I believe that it’s outlived its use."
The only states in the U.S. that don’t use daylight-saving time — and stay on the same time all year — are Arizona and Hawaii.
This year, daylight-saving time starts at 2 a.m. March 12 when people set their clocks forward by one hour. Daylight saving time ends Nov. 5 when people set their clocks back one hour.