Washingtonians will spring forward at 2 a.m. this Sunday, marking the beginning of daylight saving time (DST).
Losing an hour of sleep could have ended last year, when Washington Gov. Jay Inslee signed a bipartisan bill into law that made daylight saving time permanent in 2019. However, putting the permanent change into practice was out of the state's hands.
So why are we still changing our clocks?
While federal law allows states to opt out of daylight saving time, it doesn’t allow states to ditch standard time. Hawaii and Arizona both operate on standard time year-round, but no states have successfully overcome the roadblock for permanent daylight saving.
Washington would need federal legislation to put year-round daylight saving time into effect.
Across the United States there is widespread support to end the twice-yearly time change, though there is disagreement on which time to adopt. Washington was one of eight states to introduce legislation in 2019 supporting permanent daylight saving time. Nine other states introduced bills to adopt year-round standard time.
Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Florida) introduced federal legislation in 2019 that would make daylight saving time permanent for all states. However, the bill never made it past introduction and was not reintroduced in 2020.
Supporters of year-round daylight saving time argue that switching clocks negatively impacts our health, and extra hours of daylight in the evenings would reduce deadly crashes and crime.
If Washington were to move to daylight saving time year-round, we would keep our late sunsets in the summer, and the change would be more noticed in the winter months. For instance, if Washington had daylight saving time during the Winter Solstice, the sun wouldn’t rise until 8:54 a.m., but it also would not set until 5:20 p.m.