The state Senate has approved legislation sponsored by Sen. Jim Honeyford, R-Sunnyside, which would allow Washington to stay on daylight saving time year-round. Senate Bill 5139, approved near unanimously, gives states like Washington the ability to make the time change effective on the second Sunday of March the year after Congressional approval.
“This has been a year’s-long project that will benefit Washington State,” said Honeyford. “I first dug into this issue a few years ago after doing some research and meeting with experts about the benefits of longer daylight hours. People wrongly assume this is something that farmers came up with, but as someone who has farmed, we work no matter what the clock says.”
Honeyford’s legislation has received national attention, recently featured by HBO’s Vice News, and the 15th District state Senator has fielded calls from legislators around the nation looking to adapt his approach.
“I’ve been working with legislators from other Northwest states about making the switch,” Honeyford said. “California recently made the change after a vote of the people, my proposal also asks voters for their say, and it just makes sense for us to move in that direction.”
During public hearings on the proposed legislation, Honeyford and experts pointed out the benefits such positive impacts on students, overall health, commerce and public safety.
“In my research on daylight saving time I have found that it saves lives, energy, and prevents crime,” said Steve Calandrillo, law professor at the University of Washington. “Congress should move the country to it year-round, or at least allow California, Oregon and Washington to do so.”
Calandrillo, who has researched the topic of daylight saving time extensively, presented key points to legislative committees about the benefit of Honeyford’s proposal. “When all of the costs and benefits are balanced, the advantages of extended daylight saving time are clear. It is past time that we set our clocks forward forever, and never have to switch them again,” he added.
Honeyford’s bill was approved by a vote of 46-3 and now goes to the House of Representatives for consideration.