On November 7th, the annual ritual of “falling back’ will be upon us gain, despite 60% voter approval for Proposition 7 in 2018 that was aimed at eliminating the bi-annual time change. So what’s going on and why are we still doing this?
Daylight saving time was first imposed as a temporary energy saving measure during World War I, and was re-instated during World War II. After World War II ended, states were allowed to decide the issue, and in 1949, voters approved Proposition 12, permanently establishing daylight saving time during spring and summer in our state.
Measures approved by the voters can only be changed by the voters, and under terms of Proposition 7, California voters asked the Legislature to introduce a bill changing the times and dates of daylight saving time, in compliance with federal laws, and should federal law be changed, to allow year-round daylight saving time.
As a result, Assembly Bill 7 was introduced in 2019 by Assemblyman Kansan Chu (D – San Jose), to authorize permanent year-round daylight saving time. AB 7 required a two-thirds vote and passed the Assembly without opposition, but the Legislature adjourned for the year before the Senate could take action. The following year, session was cut short due to the pandemic, and new legislation was introduced but never came up for a vote. Similar legislation is likely to be introduced when we re-convene in January, but there is one more hurdle. Federal law allows states to adopt year-round standard time (as in Arizona), but the law does not permit year-round daylight saving time.
In March the “Sunshine Protection Act of 2021” was introduced by a bi-partisan group of Senators in Washington D.C. If it passes, 2021 could be the last year we have to ‘spring forward and fall back.’ Only time will tell.