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.

More in Northwest

Photo courtesy of Neelam Chahlia 
                                Redmond’s Neelam Chahlia crowned as Mrs. Washington America and competing for the national Mrs. America title on Aug. 26.
Redmond’s Chahlia to compete for Mrs. America 2020 title

Mrs. Washington America winner says her journey embodies the ‘American Dream.’

PSE’s battery storage project could help the clean energy rollout

Tiny pilot project in Glacier could eventually be expanded to Puget Sound region.

King County Correctional Facility is located at 500 5th Ave., Seattle. File photo
King County jail’s leaky pipes have national implications

Lawsuit filed in King County Superior Court alleges Aquatherm has been selling faulty pipes.

VoteWA is a $9.5 million program that came online last May and is meant to unify all 39 county voting systems in the state into a single entity. Courtesy image
WA’s new voting system concerns county elections officials

VoteWA has run into some problems in recent months as the Aug. 6 primary election draws closer.

‘Feedback loops’ of methane, CO2 echo environmental problem beyond Washington

University of Washington among researchers of climate change’s effects in global temperatures.

Courtesy photo
King County Sheriff’s Office has been giving ICE unredacted information

Both the office and jail have supplied the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency.

Mukilteo schools may soon have state’s highest paid teachers

Teachers ratified a new contract Monday and the Board of Education will consider it next month.

Among 9 other candidates, Inslee gets his 6 minutes of fame

Here’s what the governor, a longshot presidential candidate, said in Miami Wednesday night.

What’s next for Washington’s 2045 green energy goal?

The Legislature set the goal, but how does the state actually get there?

Tasting room proposal could redefine alcohol production in King County

Pilot program would benefit wineries, breweries and distilleries. Several farmers are concerned.

Climbers rescued after days on Rainier

Several rescue attempts went awry, thanks to bad weather and flying conditions.

Rick Steves to give $1 million yearly to stop climate change

“If we are in the travel business, we are contributing to the destruction of our environment,” he said.