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Yes, Washington must still 'spring forward,' despite permanent approval of Daylight Saving Time

Washington lawmakers approved permanent Daylight Saving Time in 2019, but the state can't do away with standard time without Congressional approval.

OLYMPIA, Wash. — Washingtonians still had to set their clocks an hour ahead on Sunday, March 14, despite lawmakers in Olympia approving permanent Daylight Saving Time.

The change happened at 2 a.m. local time across most of the United States.

No time change is observed in Hawaii, most of Arizona, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, American Samoa, Guam and the Northern Marianas. 

Washington state would be on the list of places that don't observe the time change after lawmakers approved permanent Daylight Saving Time in the spring of 2019. However, Washington can't do away with standard time unless given Congressional approval. 

Federal law allows states to opt-out of Daylight Saving Time, but it doesn’t allow states to do the opposite. Hawaii and Arizona both operate on standard time year-round. 

There are three avenues that could allow Washington to observe permanent Daylight Saving Time: Congress could pass a bill allowing states like Washington to make the change, Congress could pass a law making the change to every state at once, or the U.S. secretary of transportation could authorize the change.

Supporters of year-round Daylight Saving Time argue that switching clocks negatively impacts our health, and extra hours of daylight in the evenings would reduce deadly crashes and crime.

RELATED: 5 reasons to keep Daylight Saving Time all year, according to a UW professor

If Washington were to move to Daylight Saving Time year-round, we would stay on the same time we currently observe from March through November. We would keep later sunsets in the summer, but the change would be more noticed in the winter months. On the Winter Solstice, the sun wouldn’t rise until 8:54 a.m., and it would set at 5:20 p.m.

Unless that happens, it will be about eight months until Washingtonians need to reset their clocks again when standard time returns and we "fall back" on Sunday, Nov. 7, 2021.

No matter how you feel about Daylight Saving Time, this time of year is a good reminder to check the batteries in your smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors. You should also check the clocks in your car, microwave, oven and non-smart devices. 

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