Washington lawmakers approve bill to "Ditch the Switch," opt into year-round daylight saving

OLYMPIA, Wash. - Washington state is one step closer to being put on year-round daylight saving time, thanks to a bill that plans to #DitchTheSwitch. 

House Bill 1196 cleared the Washington state senate Tuesday with overwhelming support. It had previously passed the state house of representatives. 

It now heads back to the house for one final concurrence vote, which is expected to pass. It would then head to Governor Jay Inslee's desk. 

Even if Inslee signs the bill, it would still not take effect without approval from Congress. Federal law currently allows for states to opt into permanent standard time, which is what Arizona and Hawaii have done. But it does not allow for year-round Daylight Saving Time. 

Washington's bill was sponsored by Spokane Representative Marcus Riccelli, who cites health-related issues that come from changing clocks twice a year such as the negative impact on the body’s circadian rhythms. 

Riccelli also emphasized the benefits of extended daylight hours will have on promoting outdoor activities and youth sports. “At a time when childhood obesity rates are rising, anything that supports physical activity for kids is good for the health of our next generation,” Riccelli said.

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