In 2018, 60% of California’s voters supported Proposition 7, which was aimed at eliminating the bi-annual ritual of moving clocks back in the fall and forward in the spring.
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, which permanently established daylight saving time in California.
Since voters authorized daylight saving time in the first place, any changes must again be approved by the voters. Under Proposition 7, the Legislature was asked to introduce a bill changing the times and dates of daylight saving time, in compliance with federal laws.
As a result, Assembly Bill 7 was introduced in 2019 to authorize year-round daylight saving time. I supported AB 7, and though the bill passed the Assembly without opposition, it never made it through the Senate. In 2022, similar legislation was introduced, but failed to make headway in the Assembly. But even if California had passed this legislation, there would still be another hurdle. The Uniform Time Act passed by Congress in 1966 allows states to opt out of daylight saving time and remain on standard time (as in Arizona and Hawaii). However, the bill does not allow year-round daylight saving time.
To resolve these issues, in 2022 Florida Senator Marco Rubio introduced bipartisan legislation called the “Sunshine Protection Act” to make daylight saving time the permanent, standard time for the entire country. The bill passed the Senate, but so far has stalled in the House.
So where are we? For the time being at least, twice a year we will be stuck with changing our clocks back and forth, despite 60% of the people saying NO to the practice in 2018.