Oregon Joins Washington In Passing Bill For Permanent Daylight Saving Time

File photo. A loosely coordinated effort is gaining steam to get all West Coast states to synchronize their clocks to year-round daylight saving time. CREDIT: HENRIQUE SIMPLICIO / FLICKR PHOTO HTTPS://FLIC.KR/P/F1JXBL
File photo. Washington lawmakers previously passed the bill for permanent Daylight Saving Time. A question remains of how California and Idaho will proceed.

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Oregon lawmakers approved a measure on Thursday that could allow the state to adopt daylight saving time year-round.

“After the 2018 time change, I don’t know what happened, but people got grouchy,” said Rep. Bill Post, R-Keizer, who sponsored the bill.

Post touted bipartisan support for his bill from President Donald Trump to Gov. Kate Brown.

The Oregon measure already passed the Senate and now heads to the governor’s desk. Brown has indicated she will sign the bill.

But to take effect, all three West Coast states have to make the same decision and get approval from Congress. Washington legislators approved the change this year. In California, voters have approved year-round daylight saving time, but legislators have not signed off yet.

Also complicating matters is how Idaho would be affected. Currently the northern part of the state follows Pacific Time, while the rest is on Mountain Time. A bill to eliminate Daylight Saving Time failed overwhelmingly in the Idaho state House in February.

Staying on permanent daylight saving would mean the sun would rise later during some winter mornings. That would mean lighter evenings, but it could push sunrise past 8:30 a.m. in some parts of the state. That had some people concerned.

Rep. Jack Zika, R-Redmond, told his colleagues he has two small children who walk to school from his home in central Oregon.

“Don’t make my kids walk to school in the dark,” he said. “Don’t let Oregonians walk to schools in the dark.”

The measure passed the House on a 37-20 vote. The bill would not affect most of Malheur County, which is in the Mountain time zone.

Re-setting clocks in the fall and spring started during World War II as a way to reduce power usage.

Copyright 2019 Oregon Public Broadcasting

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