California

Daylight Saving Time is coming to an end again – will California ever stop the clock-changing?

In less than two weeks, Daylight Saving Time once again comes to an end, prompting Californians to once again set their clocks back an hour.

That “fall back” comes despite the fact that voters last year strongly supported Proposition 7, which empowered the Legislature to vote to adopt year-round Daylight Saving Time with congressional approval.

Assemblyman Kansen Chu, D-San Jose, has introduced a bill, Assembly Bill 7, that would make that change. The bill has been delayed until the second half of the legislative session begins in 2020.

Chu sponsored a similar bill in 2016 that failed in a Senate floor vote.

One issue that’s proved to be a sticking point how to establish year-round Daylight Saving Time rather than year-round permanent standard time. Federal law prohibits the former, but allows the latter.

Chu has said he will ask his constituents for their thoughts on which time they’d prefer to switch to, and that he will amend his bill accordingly in the new year.

“It is important to me that my constituents are heard, and putting a pause on moving the bill will give me the opportunity to do more outreach,” Chu said in a statement.

There were other complications.

A Senate Committee on Energy, Utilities and Communications analysis of AB 7 found that changing California to permanent Daylight Saving Time could cause “considerable disruption” not just to the routines of state residents, but to California’s three bordering states and Mexico.

“The constant movement of people and goods across those borders requires coordination. The economies and societies of the border communities are interdependent,” the analysis said.

The committee analysis found that the state could take its time and assess the implications and impacts of a change to permanent Daylight Saving Time

“The question for the Legislature is whether immediate action is necessary. It seems there may be some benefit to waiting and assessing implications of a year-long DST before authorizing its change,“ the analysis said.

In the meantime, Daylight Saving Time, which began this year at 2 a.m. on March 10, ends at 2 a.m. on Sunday, November 3.

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Andrew Sheeler covers California’s unique political climate for the Sacramento Bee. He has covered crime and politics from Interior Alaska to North Dakota’s oil patch to the rugged coast of southern Oregon. He attended the University of Alaska Fairbanks.
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