Oregon Votes to Make Daylight Saving Time Permanent

The annual switch from Daylight Saving Time back to standard time — that bane of sleep lovers and late night talk show commentators everywhere — is about to be abolished in Oregon with the simple stroke of Gov. Kate Brown’s pen. (Do it, Governor. Please.)

The bill was drafted to make Daylight Saving Time permanent in Oregon, except for the eastern portion of the state that lies in the Mountain Time Zone.

According to a press release by chief sponsor Sen. Kim Thatcher (R-Keizer), Senate Bill 320 has Gov. Kate Brown’s approval. Thatcher said the bill comes comes after years of working with constituents and colleagues in Oregon and other states. She previously tried to pass year-round standard time, but the public pushed back in favor of permanent DST.

Thatcher says there is a joint effort between the West Coast states #DitchTheSwitch together, and Oregon is the second domino to fall. Washington’s permanent DST bill passed in April, while California’s effort is still in process.

“Oregonians are looking forward to the governor signing this bill into law,” Thatcher said in a statement Thursday afternoon. “The West Coast states need to stick together on the ditching the switch. Our effort to #DitchTheSwitch has a majority of the public’s support and approval from members of both sides of the aisle and it is a matter of commerce and public services.”

SB 320 passed the House Thursday, 37-20, with somewhat bipartisan support. Seven Democrats joined 13 Republican members (including Canby’s representative, Christine Drazan) in opposing the measure.

Even if the bill is signed by Gov. Brown, that’s not necessarily the end of the road. California has to join the party, according to the wording of SB 320, which becomes effective the “first Sunday of the first November in which the standard of time in the States of California and Washington is one hour in advance of the United States standard of time for California and Washington.”

If this does not happen by Dec. 1, 2029, the bill expires.

Also, federal laws require a waiver from Congress for any state wishing to remain in permanent Daylight Saving Time. States can opt out of DST and be on standard time year-round (à la Hawaii and Alaska), but they can’t do the opposite without congressional approval.

Photo by Marco Verch.

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