Last month, we once again changed the clocks and fell back an hour.
Contrary to popular opinion that daylight saving time was for farmers, it was first established in the United States in 1918 as a wartime measure to conserve electricity. I am absolutely for finding ways to conserve energy. That is one of the reasons I would like to explore an end to changing the clocks and to stay on daylight saving time.
In 2015 I introduced Senate Bill 99, which would have ended the time change and establish a single time on which to stay. After hearing from many people, the overwhelming majority, wanted to stay on daylight saving time. This would obviously affect other states. Since introducing SB 99, many other surrounding states have introduced similar legislation.
I have been in contact with legislators in California and Washington to work on this issue. Legislators from both sides of the aisle in those states have introduced legislation similar to mine. The impact of this legislation necessitates a need to reach across state lines and coordinate a plan as any state would have to first obtain approval from the feds before enacting any time change. My office is also reaching out to Montana, Idaho, Nevada, Wyoming, Colorado, New Mexico and Utah legislators. In each one of those sates, legislators have proposed legislation to end the time transition.
There are plenty of reasons to do away with the time change. What seems more controversial, is on what time to stay; daylight saving or standard time? If it were totally up to me, I would agree with the majority I heard from and prefer to keep the evenings longer like we already do for eight months of the year. That seems to be when most people are active.
An interesting way to visualize how the time change works is by clicking on this interactive map and entering the times you are typically asleep and awake (find this story at the newspaper's website for a link to the map). Though it only compares how many daylight hours under the scenario of either getting rid of daylight saving time or keeping the time switch as we have now.
I will continue to work on this in preparation for the 2019 legislative session and talk to other state legislators. What do you think about this? I would welcome any feedback or concerns. Thank you and I hope to hear from you soon.
Senator Kim Thatcher
Senate District 13
Capitol Phone: 503-986-1713
Capitol Address: 900 Court St. NE, S-307, Salem, Oregon 97301
Thatcher's district includes a swath of Washington County, including Sherwood and King City.