Assembly Bill 2496 would end the practice of seasonal time changes in California, undoing a law that voters approved back in 1949.
SACRAMENTO – If passed, a bill introduced in the California State Assembly would make moot the popular internet search phrase: “What day do I turn the clock back?”
That day would no longer exist.
Assembly Bill 2496 would end the practice of daylight saving time in California, undoing a law that voters approved back in 1949 with a special election.
No springing forward, no falling back.
The bill has been introduced by California Assemblyman Kansen Chu, D-San Jose, who is following the lead of several other states in trying to pass similar legislation.
In 2015, a dozen states were considering DST legislation, including Oregon, Washington and Alaska.
Currently, only Arizona and Hawaii take a pass on the seasonal time changes twice each year.
Chu believes things should change in California. Health complaints from constituents led him to research the effects of the twice-yearly time jolts.
“I heard some complaints last year from some of the senior citizens (in my district) and their care providers who say this one-hour difference really impacted their lives,” Chu told the Sacramento Bee.
Chu also cites research, notably a study from Indiana, indicating the so-called energy benefits of daylight saving time may be a misnomer. The Indiana study looked at what – if any – the effect of switching to daylight savings time had for the state from the years 2004-2006.
According to researchers, contrary to the intent of DST, the yearly time changes actually increased the residential electricity demands of customers.
The study estimated a cost of increased electricity bills to Indiana households of $9 million per year, and estimated social costs of increased pollution ranging from $1.7 to $5.5 million per year.
However, an analysis by staff of the California Energy Commission says the study may not yield the same results for California because:
The use of residential air conditioning is relatively low in Indiana, and the saturations are low. California has high usage of air conditioning in the summer.
Heating use is relatively high in Indiana, while it is relatively low in California.
The diurnal variation in Indiana temperature is low while California is very high.
Indiana is located in western edge of the same time zone as Maine and Florida, but the sun actually comes up at an earlier time than those other two states.
Indiana’s north-south location will affect how long the days are in the summer and might very well lead to different results in different areas.
So, concludes the CEC, “while the analysis is of interest to Indiana, it’s conclusions may not be totally correct for California or the rest of the country.”
Daylight saving time began in California after World War II with the passage of Proposition 12. Proponents noted it would give people an extra hour of daylight, increase industrial production, and improve public health. Advocates also said it would reduce juvenile delinquency.
Those against passage of Prop 12 at time included the motion picture industry, who claimed revenues were reduced 20 – 35 percent by DST; farmers, who claimed ” cows know nothing of ’Daylight Saving’ and give milk by Nature’s laws”; and housewives, who “would be compelled to labor hardest in the hottest hours of the day and to put to bed (their) children while the sun is still shining.”
An End Daylight Saving Time national petition website that allows people the chance to send form letters to Congress has nearly 83,000 mailings as of Saturday morning.
“Day Light Savings saves no daylight and it messes with people biological clocks,” says a Santa Clara petitioner. “This results in decreased productivity, missed meetings and accidents attributed to the time shift.”
“An archaic, outdated practice that needed to end a long time ago,” adds a woman from Orange.
“California should … be leading this change,” Chu told the Bee. “I cannot believe that anybody would like to do this fall backward, spring forward thing twice a year.”