Seven Republican state senators are pitching legislation aimed at eliminating daylight saving time and making Pacific Standard Time the clock setting year round.
It’s a misguided effort.
While there are legitimate reasons to not move the clock forward or back an hour twice a year, doing so on a state-by-state basis makes zero sense.
The senators, however, contend that the current “spring forward, fall back” time schedule creates health risks for Washingtonians. The legislation cites health consequences such as increased risk of heart attacks, more workplace injuries and higher suicide rates.
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The argument is thin. It’s not as if the twice-yearly change is a boon for hospital ERs across the Evergreen State — or any state.
If year-round Pacific Standard Time was imposed, it would create problems for Washingtonians — particularly those living in communities such as Walla Walla on the state’s border.
In this community, many people live in Washington and work in Oregon or vice versa.
Businesses that serve people on both sides of the border would have to adjust their hours or potentially lose business.
And, as a state, Washington would be out of sync with the nation. For example, TV schedules rotate between daylight saving time and standard time, which means Washingtonians would have to make adjustments.
Doing business across the nation and its four time zones gets even trickier.
Given that the majority of clocks now self-adjust, manual clock adjustment is not much of a strain for anybody. A bigger problem is getting used to the time change.
Yes, two states — Hawaii and Arizona — do stay on standard time all year. Hawaii is a chain of islands, so it really makes no difference whether there is a two- or three-hour time difference to the mainland. It takes at least that long to fly from Hawaii to the West Coast.
And in the case of Arizona, keeping standard time helps folks deal with the extreme heat in the summer. Nevertheless, those who do business outside the state of Arizona complain about being out of sync with nearby states.
Ultimately, the decision on whether to spring forward once a year should be made as a nation.
Even then, there are those who argue it would be best to keep daylight saving time all year. They like having the longer summer days for outdoor activities.
The state Senate needs to punt this one to Congress (for a discussion at some point in the future) and focus on state matters such as fully funding basic education.