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What permanent Daylight Saving Time would mean for Seattle

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Permanent Daylight Saving would mean a 8:55 a.m. sunrise and a 5:20 sunset. | Photo by @justinmyi

Beginning to see the light? As you may have heard, a new bill passed the US Senate that would make Daylight Saving Time (DST) permanent in March 2023.

Of course the Sunshine Protection Act, co-sponsored by our own Sen. Patty Murray, still needs to get through the U.S. House of Representatives and President Joe Biden to become law, but it’s become quite the hot topic.

This could play out here in Seattle a couple of different ways. On the shortest day of the year (Dec. 21), our sun rises at 7:55 a.m. and sets at 4:20 p.m. The change would mean that our sun would instead stay up until almost 5:30 p.m. that day. Woohoo 🎉

And while that’s something a lot of folks can get behind (us, included), many are also concerned with a later sunrise — which would be 8:55 a.m. on the shortest day. As a few Seattleites have pointed out, 9 a.m. is well after some Seattle students have to be in school. Safety concerns associated with dark commutes were a part of the reason the permanent DST was repealed in the 70s.

More light-heartedly, a Seattle Times column makes the argument that our city’s population has more night owls than early birdsmornings may be pretty sleepy.

However, according to UW School of Law professor Steve Calandrillo, later sunsets could bring a reduction in crime as night tends to be the “preferred workday” of criminals. Plus, shifting daylight into the p.m. would mean rush hour stays a little lighter — and potentially safer.

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