OLYMPIA — Legislation to make daylight saving time permanent in Washington state if Congress agrees has been passed by both Houses and sent to Gov. Jay Inslee for a signature.
HB 1196 was one of two bills introduced this session that would make daylight saving time, now in effect over most of the United States for eight months of the year, permanent in Washington state if federal law changes.
The other bill — SB 5139 — would have provided a referendum on the issue. It died in committee.
While federal law allows states to opt into standard time permanently — which Hawaii and Arizona have done — the reverse is prohibited and requires Congressional action.
Sen. Kevin Van De Wege, D-Sequim, co-sponsored SB 5139 requiring a public vote on the issue, which did not pass. Rep. Steve Tharinger, D-Port Townsend, co-sponsored the House bill without a referendum, which did pass.
Van De Wege, Tharinger and Rep. Mike Chapman, D-Port Angeles, all voted in favor of HB 1196.
The three represent District 24, which covers Clallam and Jefferson counties and part of Grays Harbor County.
Van De Wege said Tuesday that he felt a measure to make daylight saving time permanent would “overwhelmingly pass” and so saw no reason to take the question to the public for a vote.
”Referendums are expensive to do,” he said.
Rep. Marcus Riccelli, D-Spokane, who is among the bill’s sponsors, said he’s had every indication that the governor intends to sign the bill, The Seattle Times said.
The Times also quoted Riccelli as saying that the state’s U.S. senators, Maria Cantwell and Patty Murray, are willing to support the conversation at the federal level.
Daylight saving time moves an hour of daylight from the beginning of the day to the end.
The vote comes as more than two dozen states are considering similar measures to avoid the twice-yearly clock change and make daylight saving time permanent, a move President Donald Trump has tweeted he favors. Others prefer to shift to year-round standard time.