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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Despite lawmakers’ push to end Daylight Savings Time, it’s time to set your clocks back

Nov. 6, 2021 Updated Sat., Nov. 6, 2021 at 10:12 a.m.

Clocks will fall back an hour starting at 2 a.m. Sunday, marking the end of daylight saving time.  (DAN PELLE)
Clocks will fall back an hour starting at 2 a.m. Sunday, marking the end of daylight saving time. (DAN PELLE)

It’s that time of year again.

Washington and most of the rest of the country will set its clocks back one hour to end daylight saving time at 2 a.m. Sunday, and lawmakers are hoping it’s the last time.

Washington lawmakers have long pushed to establish permanent daylight saving time, even passing a law in the state Legislature to do so. But its fate now rests in the hands of Congress.

In a floor speech Thursday, Sen. Patty Murray called on the Senate to pass legislation that would establish permanent daylight saving time.

“To put it simply, Americans want more sunshine and less depression,” she said.

The Washington State Legislature passed its law in 2019. Thirteen other states have passed similar legislation, but none can go into effect until Congress gives the authority to do so.

“It’s time for Congress to not act like a broken clock,” State Rep. Marcus Riccelli, D-Spokane, said. Riccelli sponsored the bill that passed in Washington two years ago.

He had hoped Congress would approve daylight saving time by this November, but now, he hopes Washington can “spring forward and never fall back again.”

Lawmakers in Congress have introduced bipartisan bills to eliminate “falling back” every November, but none has passed yet.

Riccelli called on Sen. Maria Cantwell, now the chair of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation, to put the bill up for a hearing.

It’s a bipartisan proposal that could pass, similar to how it did in Washington, Riccelli said.

Murray is co-sponsoring the Sunshine Protection Act this year. According to her office, Murray is also reaching out to the Biden administration to possibly grant federal waivers under executive authority.

If Congress doesn’t pass a law, Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg could move the entire Pacific time zone into permanent daylight saving time.

“I don’t know a single person who loves to go through the trouble of figuring out whether the microwave or the oven has the hour right or anyone who looks forward to the sun setting earlier and earlier every winter,” Murray said.

But beyond the annoyance, she and other proponents say it is a matter of health and safety. Switching back to standard time increases seasonal depression as well as evening crime and car accidents, Murray said.

“This is an archaic thing that’s way past time to change,” Riccelli said.

Laurel Demkovich's reporting for The Spokesman-Review is funded in part by Report for America and by members of the Spokane community. This story can be republished by other organizations for free under a Creative Commons license. For more information on this, please contact our newspaper’s managing editor.

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