For those of us here in California who love those long summer evenings and miss them when the clock gets set back each fall, good news may be in the offing.
A new bill is being introduced that could put an end to moving the clocks each spring and fall. In fact, the bill would not put us all on Standard Time as was earlier proposed, but would instead go the opposite direction and keep us all permanently on Daylight Savings Time.
Parents love the extra hour of daylight, it gives them more time to spend enjoying the outdoors, hang out with their kids at Little League, and for that long drive home from work.
This is State Assemblyman Kansen Chu’s second attempt to finally put an end to this annual ritual which he considers to a risk to both safety and health across the state. The bill would introduce a constitutional amendment on a statewide ballot at some point in the future asking voters to repeal the state’s 67-year old Daylight Savings Time Act.
The newly rewritten bill offers voters only two choices, to keep things as they are or to adopt Daylight Savings Time all year round. Comments received by Chu show many favor keeping the longer daytime hours.
The Bill Must Clear Two Senate4 Committees
Before the bill could go on to become law, it must pass through two Senate Committees before it goes to the floor for a vote. The good news is that there is a committee hearing set for July 10th. The bad news is that the bill cannot become law without a literal “Act of Congress” as states must have federal authorization to remain on Daylight Savings Time.
Oddly enough, under the U.S. Uniform Time Act of 1966, states do not need federal authorization to remain on Standard Time or to “spring forward” in March each year.
In 2016, the California legislature, working together across the aisle, passed a bipartisan resolution petitioning Congress to allow states a third option, which is to remain on Daylight Savings Time permanently. This effort is currently being spearheaded by South Bay Congressman Ro Khanna in Washington D.C.
In the End, It’s Up to Congress
Until Congress passes a resolution to allow states to exercise this third option, no matter whether California voters and lawmakers pass the bill into law or not, Californians will have to continue switching their clocks twice each year.
According to Facebook group “Save the Light” founder Andrea Feathers, ” When it’s Daylight Savings Time and I walk home in the early evening in downtown L.A., I see people in cafes and walking around and shopping — such a nice atmosphere. But when it gets dark earlier it can be a little creepy. It’s a big difference. The feeling of downtown totally changes.”
However, not everyone is happy with the idea of permanent Daylight Savings Time, opponents say doing this would create a significant amount of confusion as for several months of the year, Californians would need to reset their watches each time they left the state and when they came back.
Don’t expect anything soon as Congress tends to be a bit busy these days and considering something like a Daylight Savings Bill is likely to remain very low on their list of priorities.