(Editor’s note: this story originally ran on October 3, 2019–this year’s dates have been readjusted to reflect November 7. Nice to see “our vote” matters.)
On Sunday, November 7, California residents will join most of the nation in moving the clock back an hour at 2 a.m.
But, wait a minute, didn’t California voters do away with Daylight Saving Time?
Yes, on Election Day, November 7, 2018, nearly 60 percent of those participating in the election, voted in favor of California Proposition 7, which meant not having to change the clock twice a year: once in the spring and once in the fall.
Many of us thought it would be a done deal by now because that’s what we voted for, didn’t we?
NO, we did not. We voted to allow the California State Legislature the power to change clocks permanently. Any change would also need a two-thirds majority vote in the state legislature.
Assemblyman Kansen Chu, D-San Jose introduced AB-7 after the passage of Proposition 7 by voters in December 2018. The ballot measure gave the Legislature the authorization to switch the state to permanent daylight-saving time, provided California receives approval from the federal government.
AB 7 unanimously passed out of the Assembly in May but has since then stayed in the Senate Committee on Energy, Utilities and Communications.
The bill requires a two-thirds vote from both the Assembly and Senate in order to become law.
The Sacramento Bee, in a September 2019 story “Daylight Saving Time Will Continue in California for Now, as Lawmaker Delays Bill,” wrote that Chu is making this a two-year bill and quoted him, “’I want to clarify that AB 7 is not dead and will be moving forward in January,’ Chu said. ‘My main goal will always be to stop the practice of switching back and forth, and I am dedicated to make this a reality.’”
According to the Bee, President Donald Trump has tweeted that he supports the change.
Chu said he needs more time to speak to constituents.
“As this is an issue that impacts all Californians, I want to take the next few months to ask my constituents their thoughts on permanent daylight-saving time vs. permanent standard time,” he said in the Bee.
How did the nation end up with Daylight Saving Time? It started as an energy conservation trick during World War I and, became a national mandate in the 1966.
In a 2015 Vox article “It’s Time to Make Daylight Saving Time Year-Round,” writer Joseph Stromberg notes: “Despite the fact that daylight saving time was introduced to save fuel, there isn’t strong evidence that the current system actually reduces energy use — or that making it year-round would do so, either. Studies that evaluate the energy impact of DST are mixed. It seems to reduce lighting use (and thus electricity consumption) slightly but may increase heating and AC use, as well as gas consumption. It’s probably fair to say that energy-wise, it’s a wash.”
Some researchers say the “spring forward” change brings an increase in car accidents, workplace injuries and heart attacks the first few days after the clock is moved as people try to adjust to loss of an hour of sleep.
Arizona and Hawaii do not observe Daylight Saving Time.