Permanent Daylight Savings

The Oregon House passed a bill last week in favor of observing daylight savings time year-round. Oregon joins the rest of the West Coast and a handful of other states in this growing and surprisingly bipartisan movement, whose supporters range from Governor Kate Brown to Donald Trump. 

This bill would move Oregon permanently into Daylight Savings Time, effectively replacing “standard time.” The areas of Eastern Oregon that are part of the Mountain time zone would be excluded. 

This is a novel effort, as federal law allows states to opt out of observing daylight savings time, like in Arizona or Hawaii, but not to change the common definition of “standard time.” 

The change would only take effect if Washington and California, along with Oregon, all adopt these measures. They would need to collectively ask the federal government for an exemption to the Uniform Time Act of 1966.  

This movement is gaining in popularity, as some believe longer sunlight hours will have positive health benefits. Common criticisms of this plan come from parents worried about sending their kids to bus stops or all the way to school in the dark. In some areas, dawn could arrive as late as 8:30 am. 

Other states are trying a different solution – joining another time zone. New HampshireMaineRhode IslandMassachusetts, and Connecticut are all trying to shift themselves into what they’re calling “Atlantic Standard Time,” the zone immediately east of the Atlantic coast. 

By Ian MacRonald