Sick and tired of sleeping in too late, waking up too early and forgetting to reset their clocks, California voters backed a ballot measure Tuesday to stop changing time twice a year.
It’s a complicated plan that could soon blossom.
A substantial 60 percent of voters approved Proposition 7, which unwinds a 1949 ballot measure that imposed daylight saving time on the Golden State for half the year.
Now, state lawmakers are free to make the next move, but it could still take a while for results .
Assemblyman Kansen Chu, a San Jose Democrat who championed the bill that put Proposition 7 on the ballot, said he will introduce a bill in the Legislature in January to impose year-round daylight saving time. It will require a two-thirds majority in both houses. Chu said he hopes the strong voter support for Proposition 7 will convince his colleagues to see the light.
Meanwhile, Congress will need to approve the proposal — but only with a simple majority.
A simpler alternative would have been to do away with daylight saving time altogether, which wouldn’t require congressional approval. But Chu said the people who first brought this to his attention weren’t interested in having darker days.
“That’s the easy route,” Chu said. “People prefer to stay on daylight saving time year-round.”
California isn’t alone in its efforts to abandon the time changes. Hawaii observes Hawaii-Aleutian Standard Time (HST) all year. In most of Arizona, daylight saving time ceases to exist. The Navajo Nation observes daylight saving time and is on Mountain Daylight Time (MDT), while the rest of the state observes Mountain Standard Time (MST).
Chu said he wants California to stay on daylight saving time year-round because he believes it will reduce property crime and increase economic activity due to lighter skies.
During World War II, daylight saving time was implemented to conserve energy, before becoming standardized in 1960. Chu dismissed concerns that energy costs would rise, saying technological improvements have made old arguments in favor of daylight saving time irrelevant.
“Switching back and forth does not save any energy,” he said. “We have different patterns since the 1940s.”