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State bill proposing year-round PST doesn’t pass committee

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A Washington state bill that sought to exempt the state from daylight saving time and implement year-round Pacific Standard Time is dead.

Daylight-saving time starts this weekend at 2 a.m. March 12 when people set their clocks forward by one hour.

Sen. Jim Honeyford, one of the four sponsors of the bill, told KIRO 7 News on Thursday that Senate Bill 5329 didn’t make it out of a Senate committee this week.

Honeyford proposed the bill because he believes that daylight saving time leads to increased traffic accidents, increased crimes, health problems and scheduling complications for agriculture.

In a public hearing before the bill died, Honeyford said: “People say, ‘Oh, (daylight saving time) is for farmers.’ Well, I was a farmer, you’d get up at daylight and work until it’s dark … and (then) get a flashlight or tractor lights. You don’t care what the clock is. (Daylight saving time is) not for farmers.”

His office is already working with California and Oregon to petition the federal government on possible legislation similar to SB 5329.

This isn’t the first time that a DST-related bill in Washington state has died. A similar one failed in 2015.

Daylight saving time, which became the American standard in 1966, was created to conserve energy. Arizona and Hawaii do not observe daylight saving time.

Quartz writer and economist Allison Schrager spoke to CBSN about an article she wrote about why the U.S. should retire daylight saving and have just two time zones, one hour apart.

“It would seem to be more efficient to do away with the practice altogether,” Schrager wrote. “The actual energy savings are minimal, if they exist at all. Frequent and uncoordinated time changes cause confusion, undermining economic efficiency.”

Schrager suggests that Americans on Eastern Standard Time set their clocks back one hour as normal, Americans on Central and Rocky Mountain time do nothing and Americans on Pacific time set their clocks forward one hour.

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