Washington is approaching permanent daylight saving time

With a new proposal, Washington is closer to permanent daylight saving time.

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A bill that would keep the United States in permanent daylight saving time passed the Senate on Tuesday, a monumental step in the growing nationwide push to end the need to adjust our clocks twice a year.

Here in Washington, state lawmakers have spent years advocating for that change. The state Legislature, after several previous attempts, passed a bill in 2019 that would put Washington on permanent daylight saving time. We are now one of 19 states that have made such attempts.

So what is the delay? it is Congress.

The Uniform Time Act of 1966 prevents states from adopting permanent daylight saving time on their own. But the bill that passed the US Senate on Tuesday, the so-called Sunlight Protection Act, would essentially overturn the 1966 law and put the entire country on permanent daylight saving time.

US Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., has been a longtime advocate of permanent daylight saving time and was one of several co-sponsors of the Sunlight Protection Act.

“Today, the Senate finally delivered on something that Americans across the country want: to never have to change their clocks again,” he said Tuesday. in a speech in the Senate. “No more dark afternoons in the winter. No more losing an hour of sleep every spring. We want more sun during our most productive waking hours.”

Most of the US currently uses daylight saving time, which requires us to turn our clocks forward one hour in the spring and back one hour in the fall. The goal is to make better use of daylight in the summer months. Our days are naturally longer in the summer because the Northern Hemisphere is tilted directly toward the sun. So the idea is that by moving our clocks forward one hour, the sun sets one hour later than normal. That gives us an extra hour of daylight to take advantage of.

Once summer ends and our days naturally get shorter, we turn our clocks back an hour to return to standard time. This is what we wear until it’s time to move our clocks forward again in the spring.

Proponents of permanent daylight saving time say the biannual clock change has a negative impact on the public. An increase in the number of fatal heart attacks, strokes, and traffic accidents is often seen in the days immediately after we turn our clocks forward, and children are also known to perform less well in school in the days after To the change.

After passing the Senate, the Sunlight Protection Act is now on its way to the US House of Representatives. If it passes there, it won’t take effect until the end of 2023. Lawmakers say they want give enough time for airlines and other industries to adjust their schedules.

The bill was originally drafted in 2019, but was not put to a vote until this year. It was approved unanimously in the Senate.

The recent push to put the US on permanent daylight saving time may seem strange to those living in the mid-1970s. President Richard Nixon put the US on permanent daylight saving time in 1974 to help the country overcome an energy crisis, and was very popular after its implementation. But it was removed just 16 months after public opinion about the change took a 180.

The problem was that, with no standard time, mornings seemed darker and colder during the winter. Those who commuted to work in the morning hated their commutes, and many were hesitant to drop off their young children at school bus stops.

That seems understandable. If the US were in permanent daylight saving time right now, the sun wouldn’t rise until 8:55 a.m. on December 21, the shortest day this year. Based on our current schedule, the sun is scheduled to rise at 7:55 am on that day.

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