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End the time change

Along with wrangling over the budget and other weighty issues, Oregon lawmakers found time last week to support making daylight saving time last all year. On balance, it’s a good idea.

Senate Bill 320 passed last Thursday and is now in the House, which has approved similar measures in the past. The bill would take effect only if Congress approved the change and Washington and California agreed to go along. Legislatures in both states are considering bills to do that.

It’s not an energy saver. Lighting costs drop from more daylight hours at the end of the day, but air conditioning costs go up.

Meanwhile, heart attack risk increases in the two days following the “spring forward” time change. So there is good reason not to switch back and forth. But which time should be made permanent?

Observing daylight time in the winter would mean sunrise as late as 9 a.m., raising concerns about children making their way to school. But school starts well before then, so darkness is already an issue.

Daylight time lasts for nearly eight months, so it makes sense to leave it in place for the other four. Extra light at the end of the day also makes sense in our outdoor-oriented area, and studies show people spend less time watching TV — a health benefit. It’s also good for business: golf courses and barbecue manufacturers are big fans.

So daylight saving time wins. And the best part is that we would all be spared the disorienting chore of switching back and forth.

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