Oregon on the Verge of Saying Goodbye to Daylight Saving Time Confusion—for Year-Round Standard Time!

Majestic View of Mt. Hood. Sunset scene with dramatic sky
Majestic View of Mt. Hood. Sunset scene with dramatic sky. (Shutterstock)

As a proud Oregon resident, the buzz around Senate Bill 1548 has me both thrilled and, admittedly, a tad bit puzzled. Why, you might wonder? After years of adjusting our clocks back and forth, causing more confusion than convenience, Oregon is on the cusp of bidding farewell to the daylight saving time dance!

Last Thursday was a significant milestone as an Oregon Senate committee unanimously passed Senate Bill 1548, proposing we ditch the biannual clock change. Should this bill sail through, we'd join the ranks of Hawaii and Arizona, reveling in standard time throughout the year. This shift isn't merely about convenience; it's a leap towards health and safety, addressing the adverse effects daylight saving time has had on us all.

adjusting clock daylight savings
Adjusting a clock for Daylight Savings / Shutterstock

Back in 2019, there was a flicker of hope when then-Gov. Kate Brown signed Senate Bill 320, intending to keep Oregon on daylight saving time year-round. Yet, it encountered obstacles, needing approval from Washington and California, along with Congress's consent, and unfortunately stumbled, mainly because the California Legislature didn't pass it.

Now, Senate Bill 1548, spearheaded by Sen. Elizabeth Steiner—who, despite her previous opposition to the 2019 bill, now champions our health and safety—promises a new direction. She highlights the clear evidence: switching our clocks disrupts more than just our routines. It's linked to a spike in car accidents, heart attacks, strokes, and other health issues. The data suggests that sticking to one time could alleviate these risks.

Moreover, Jay Pea, president of Save Standard Time, underscores that we've experimented with permanent daylight time before, to no avail. He asserts that morning light is crucial for our well-being, urging those who favor daylight saving time to adjust their personal schedules rather than impacting everyone else.

Embracing the Benefits of Standard Time

Adopting standard time year-round means we'll experience more consistent daylight hours throughout the year, aligning our daily routines more closely with the natural cycle of light and dark. This change supports our circadian rhythms, potentially improving sleep quality and overall well-being. While we might miss the late sunsets of summer, the trade-off is a gain in morning light, which can be equally valuable for our vitamin D intake, especially in the darker months.

In Oregon, where every ray of sunshine is cherished, maximizing daylight during our waking hours becomes even more crucial. The consistent schedule of standard time may actually enhance our ability to plan for and absorb this essential nutrient, supporting both mental and physical health.

As Senate Bill 1548 heads for a floor debate and then a vote by the Oregon House and Senate, the anticipation among Oregonians is palpable. This legislative change promises not just to simplify our lives but also to align us more naturally with the rhythms of the day and season, fostering a healthier, happier state.

Here's to the dawn of a new, timeless Oregon, where our connection to the natural world is honored through our daily schedules, enhancing our collective well-being and vitality.