Oregon is following Washington’s lead by moving toward permanent daylight saving time after its House voted 37-20 to dump the twice-a-year time change, providing other West Coast states follow suit and Congress signs off.
Oregon has now joined Washington and California, as well as dozens of other states, that are asking for federal approval for the change.
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, more than 30 states are considering legislation related to the practice of changing clocks twice a year. British Columbia Premier John Horgan has said that he will authorize the move to permanent daylight saving time if Washington, Oregon and California do so.
Last month, Gov. Jay Inslee signed a bill to put Washington state permanently on daylight time after it passed both the state House and the Senate with overwhelming bipartisan support.
“It’s part of a movement to get rid of this absurd clock-switching thing that doesn’t make sense anymore,” Rep. Marcus Riccelli, D-Spokane, one of the bill’s sponsors, has said.
Before any state can adopt permanent daylight time, however, Congress would have to approve. Under federal law, states may decide either to be on permanent standard time — which is what we observe from November through March — or to switch back and forth between standard time and daylight time.
There’s support on the federal level, too. Republican Florida Sen. Marco Rubio introduced legislation making daylight saving time permanent nationwide and, according to Riccelli, Washington Sens. Patty Murray and Marie Cantwell have both indicated a willingness to push the discussion forward.
President Donald Trump has said on Twitter that “Making Daylight Saving Time permanent is O.K. with me!”
Supporters say eliminating the time seesaw has a host of benefits, including health, public-safety and energy-saving gains.
Some experts in depression and sleep science say, however, it’s healthier to either keep making the twice-yearly switch or to adopt permanent standard time rather than daylight time. Permanent daylight saving time is the least in line with most people’s natural circadian rhythms, which are synced by morning light, they say.
“We have an epidemic of sleep deprivation, and daylight saving time makes it worse.” said Nate Watson, a professor of neurology at the UW School of Medicine and director of the UW Medicine Sleep Center.
Nevertheless, it’s what the people want, according to legislators in Washington and Oregon.
“The people of Washington have said they want to #DitchTheSwitch, and passing this bill sends that message loud and clear to the other Washington,” Riccelli has said.
“It’s what the people of Oregon want. It’s what we’ve heard over and over and over again,” said Rep. Bill Post, the Republican from Keizer who carried the state’s measure.
The Oregon measure would establish year-round daylight saving time across the state, with the exception of Malheur County in eastern Oregon, which is on Mountain Time and will continue changing the clocks.
The Oregon bill next goes to Democratic Gov. Kate Brown, who has said she will sign.
Information from The Associated Press was included in this report.