PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) – Prepare to be a little bit sleepier Sunday after Oregon enters daylight saving time and residents in the state lose an hour of sleep.
At 2 a.m. Sunday, clocks in standard time will jump ahead to 3 a.m., resulting in darker mornings, brighter evenings, and disruptions to the body’s natural sleep cycle.
Oregonians have griped for years about the hassle of changing clocks back and forth between standard time and daylight saving time, and still the state continues with the tradition. So, what gives? Why hasn’t the state decided to lock clocks in place for good?
Well, it comes down to California and U.S. lawmakers.
In 2019, Oregon Gov. Kate Brown signed a bill that would allow the state to adopt daylight saving time year-round. The catch is that the state would only do so if California and Washington also decided to adopt year-round daylight saving time and get approval from U.S. lawmakers.
Washington legislators passed a similar bill in 2019 that said the state would observe daylight saving time year-round if the U.S. Congress amends federal law.
Among the three west coast states, California is the holdout when it comes to passing a permanent daylight saving time bill.
In the 2018 general election, voters passed a proposition that allows state lawmakers to change daylight saving time with a two-thirds vote, as long as it’s consistent with the federal law.
The following year, former California Rep. Kansen Chu, a Democrat from San Jose, submitted a bill that would eliminate the clock change and keep the state in daylight saving time year round. When the 2019-2020 California legislative session ended, the bill had passed the House, but stalled in a Senate committee.
So far, no daylight saving time bill has been introduced for California’s 2023-2024 session.
Federal lawmakers made headway on passing a bill in 2022 that would change the law, but it came to a halt in the House. In March 2022, the Senate unanimously passed the law known as the “Sunshine Protection Act,” which would make daylight saving time permanent starting in November 2023.
The bill moved to the House but never received a vote. Rep. Frank Pallone Jr., a Democrat from New Jersey, told the Hill that the bill wasn’t a top priority
On Thursday, March 2, Sen. Marco Rubio, a Republican from Florida, reintroduced the Sunshine Protection Act of 2023 to Congress and Rep. Vern Buchanan, also a Florida Republican, introduced a companion bill to the House.
The Senate bill has bipartisan support from several lawmakers, including Sen. Ron Wyden, a Democrat from Oregon.
“It’s time to put a stop to the twice-a-year time-change madness,” Wyden said in a statement. “Science and common sense show that more year-round daylight would improve our health, help kids spend a bit more time enjoying outdoor after school activities, and encourage folks to support local businesses while on a sunny stroll in their communities.”
Only federal action can make daylight saving time permanent in the U.S.
If Oregon’s state bill ever goes into action, Malheur County would be excluded from making the switch to remaining in daylight saving time, since the county is in the Mountain Time Zone whereas the rest of the state is in the Pacific Time Zone.