OLYMPIA – Washington voters may have a chance to weigh in on whether to keep the state on daylight saving time all year long.
Two days after residents had to set their clocks forward, and three days after the House voted to ask Congress to let Washington skip returning to standard time every fall, the state Senate chimed in with a proposal of its own.
The Senate also approved asking Congress to amend federal law so states can remain on daylight saving time, and that the Legislature would like to do that if the law changes. But an amendment to the Senate bill also calls for a referendum on the change to be put on the November ballot.
Sen. Jim Honeyford, R-Sunnyside, the bill’s prime sponsor, said he has been working on avoiding the semiannual clock change for years because studies show there are more accidents, heart attacks and strokes after such a change. California and Oregon are also taking steps to stay on daylight saving time year-round.
His contacts with voters after introducing this all-daylight-saving-time proposal is running about 20-to-1 in favor, he added, but the referendum would give all voters a say.
“We’re sending a message to Washington, D.C., about what the people in Washington think about going to daylight saving time,” said Sen. Mark Mullet, D-Issaquah.
The House and Senate will now try to work out a compromise on differences between the two bills before the scheduled end of the session April 28.
Legislation was introduced last week in Congress to allow states to remain on daylight saving time, and President Donald Trump tweeted his support for the change over the weekend.
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