Time for a Change? California Lawmakers Take Another Look at Daylight Saving Time

Assembly Bill 807 received its first Senate reading Monday

California lawmakers are taking another look at whether Daylight Saving Time should become a thing of the past.

Assembly Bill 807 received its first Senate reading Monday after last week's approval by the State Assembly. It's the second time in the last two years that state lawmakers have brought up a bill that could -- if it clears several hurdles -- do away with the need for Californians to set their clocks forward or back by an hour twice each year.

A similar version failed last year in the state Senate.

The practice of Daylight Saving Time, used as an energy saving measure, was approved by California voters with the passage of a 1949 ballot measure -- Proposition 12. Initially, Daylight Saving Time was from the last Sunday in April to the last Sunday in September in California. DST now lasts from mid-March to November after it was re-worked by Congress.

A proposed change would need to go before voters and clear Congress, which passed a law in 1966 that required states to either adopt DST or stick with standard time year-round. Hawaii and Arizona have exempted themselves from the law.

The bill in the California Senate asks voters to transfer a final decision to the state Legislature. The California Constitution allows the Legislature to amend or repeal an initiative statute by another statute that becomes effective when approved by voters, who would consider the issue in the next statewide election.

The Legislatures's options would include staying on standard time year-round, tinkering with time change dates, or applying DST year-round if authorized by federal law.

Opponents said the change would leave California out of sync with business in the rest of the country and leave farmers without as many hours of sunlight during fall harvests. Supporters have said the practice is no longer need as a fuel savings measure and can affect people's health.

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