For one lawmaker, it’s time to change time; cows might agree

No more “spring forward” or “fall back.” Sen. Jim Honeyford, R-Yakima, prefers his clocks to be predictable.

OLYMPIA — State Sen. Jim Honeyford, R-Sunnyside, wants time to be predictable.

To make that happen, he sponsored a bill that would do away with “spring forward” and “fall back.” No more long November slumbers. No more dreams cut short in March. No more forgetting to change the clock.

Instead, daylight saving time would be permanent, pushing back the hour of sunset year-round.

It was the research that convinced Honeyford. Recent studies say time changes result in more car crashes, workplace injuries, heart attacks and illness, as well as higher rates of depression. Honeyford suggested the economy and education may suffer, too.

He’s not the first person who has wanted to scrap the twice-yearly clock change. Similar bills in the past, including one from former Rep. Elizabeth Scott, R-Monroe, in 2015, proposed making standard time permanent. Ultimately, they failed to muster enough support.

Honeyford thinks this year is different. There’s more positive attention, he said. He’s received about 50 emails regarding his proposal; only two people opposed the idea. One didn’t offer much of a reason, he said.

He has bipartisan support, too. Two of the four co-sponsors are Democrats.

The movement’s gathering steam in neighboring states. In November, California citizens voted through a proposition asking the Legislature to consider permanent daylight saving time. An Oregon legislator crafted a bill mirroring Honeyford’s, signaling that the three West Coast states may walk in lockstep. Honeyford said there’s even interest from Idaho, a state betwixt two time zones.

States can exempt themselves from daylight saving time, but need the approval of U.S. Congress to exempt themselves from standard time. That will create an extra hurdle.

According to proponents of a permanent switch, the purported reason daylight saving was invented, to save energy, is questionable these days.

Brian Booth, a senior manager at the Snohomish County PUD, said there may not be much of a difference. For example, with LEDs becoming more common, less electricity is needed to light homes and businesses, he said.

“Less than 5 percent of our annual energy needs are dependent on seasonal differences,” he said.

There wouldn’t be any change to the amount of energy used for heating or cooling, he added.

For many people, the twice-yearly time changes are better known as mild inconveniences.

Sarah Taylor, 51, of Snohomish, has been a nurse for about 30 years. She’s mainly worked night shift, she said, and has often seen hours repeat themselves or evaporate entirely. Mostly, it’s a headache.

“When you count on only working eight hours, and you have to work nine, it’s kind of a pain in the butt,” she said.

She’s not too fond of the shorter fall shift, either. She said she’d rather just work her normal hours.

Outside of Sultan, dairy farmer Chris Groeneveld said the time changes require some extra planning.

“Cows are creatures of habit,” he said.

Meaning: They like to get milked at the same time every day. So when time shifts an hour, so does the milking schedule.

To keep his livestock from becoming too cranky, Groeneveld will ease them into the change over a couple of days.

Otherwise, he said, he doesn’t pay much attention to the hour hand.

“My day in the summer time is run by sunup and sundown,” he said, “not necessarily a clock.”

He knows some farmers who take the transition more seriously. They’ll spend a week acclimating the cows to the new schedule, moving milking time 10 minutes per day. Groeneveld said time changes haven’t been that big of a deal for his cows. He has more problems with humans “forgetting to set their clocks,” he said, laughing.

Zachariah Bryan: 425-339-3431; Twitter: @zachariahtb.

Talk to us

> Give us your news tips.

> Send us a letter to the editor.

> More Herald contact information.

More in Local News

Snohomish residents Barbara Bailey, right, and Beth Jarvis sit on a gate atop a levee on Bailey’s property on Monday, May 13, 2024, at Bailey Farm in Snohomish, Washington. Bailey is concerned the expansion of nearby Harvey Field Airport will lead to levee failures during future flood events due to a reduction of space for floodwater to safely go. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Harvey Field seeks to reroute runway in floodplain, faces new pushback

Snohomish farmers and neighbors worry the project will be disruptive and worsen flooding. Ownership advised people to “read the science.”

IAM District 751 machinists join the picket line to support Boeing firefighters during their lockout from the company on Thursday, May 16, 2024, in Everett, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Amid lockout, Boeing, union firefighters return to bargaining table

The firefighters and the planemaker held limited negotiations this week: They plan to meet again Monday, but a lockout continues.

2 injured in Bothell Everett Highway crash

The highway was briefly reduced to one northbound lane while police investigated the three-car crash Saturday afternoon.

Heavy traffic northbound on 1-5 in Everett, Washington on August 31, 2022.  (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
On I-5 in Everett, traffic nightmare is reminder we’re ‘very vulnerable’

After a police shooting shut down the freeway, commutes turned into all-night affairs. It was just a hint of what could be in a widespread disaster.

Anthony Brock performs at Artisans PNW during the first day of the Fisherman’s Village Music Fest on Thursday, May 16, 2024 in Everett, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
At downtown Everett musical festival: ‘Be weird and dance with us’

In its first night, Fisherman’s Village brought together people who “might not normally be in the same room together” — with big acts still to come.

Two troopers place a photo of slain Washington State Patrol trooper Chris Gadd outside District 7 Headquarters about twelve hours after Gadd was struck and killed on southbound I-5 about a mile from the headquarters on Saturday, March 2, 2024, in Marysville, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Judge reduces bail for driver accused of killing Marysville trooper

After hearing from Raul Benitez Santana’s family, a judge decreased bail to $100,000. A deputy prosecutor said he was “very disappointed.”

Pet detective Jim Branson stops to poke through some fur that Raphael the dog found while searching on Saturday, March 2, 2024, in Everett, Washington. Branson determined the fur in question was likely from a rabbit, and not a missing cat.(Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Lost a pet? Pet detective James Branson and his dogs may be able to help

James Branson, founder of Three Retrievers Lost Pet Rescue, helps people in the Seattle area find their missing pets for $350.

Community Transit leaders, from left, Chief Communications Officer Geoff Patrick, Zero-Emissions Program Manager Jay Heim, PIO Monica Spain, Director of Maintenance Mike Swehla and CEO Ric Ilgenfritz stand in front of Community Transit’s hydrogen-powered bus on Monday, May 13, 2024, at the Community Transit Operations Base in Everett, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
New hydrogen, electric buses get trial run in Snohomish County

As part of a zero-emission pilot program from Community Transit, the hydrogen bus will be the first in the Puget Sound area.

Two people fight on the side of I-5 neat Marysville. (Photo provided by WSDOT)
Video: Man charged at trooper, shouting ‘Who’s the boss?’ before shooting

The deadly shooting shut down northbound I-5 near Everett for hours. Neither the trooper nor the deceased had been identified as of Friday.

Two people fight on the side of I-5 neat Marysville. (Photo provided by WSDOT)
Road rage, fatal police shooting along I-5 blocks traffic near Everett

An attack on road workers preceded a report of shots fired Thursday, snarling freeway traffic in the region for hours.

The Port of Everett and Everett Marina on Tuesday, Dec. 19, 2023 in Everett, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Is Port of Everett’s proposed expansion a ‘stealth tax?’ Judge says no

A Snohomish resident lost a battle in court this week protesting what he believes is a misleading measure from the Port of Everett.

Pablo Garduno and the team at Barbacoa Judith’s churn out pit-roasted lamb tacos by the dozen at the Hidden Gems Weekend Market on Sunday, April 28, 2024, at Boom City in Tulalip, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Eating our way through Tulalip’s Hidden Gems weekend market

Don’t miss the pupusas, pit-roasted lamb tacos, elotes and even produce for your next meal.

Support local journalism

If you value local news, make a gift now to support the trusted journalism you get in The Daily Herald. Donations processed in this system are not tax deductible.