This weekend, we’ll set our clocks back an hour to end daylight saving time for the year.
A measure on Tuesday’s ballot, Proposition 7, could lead the way for lawmakers to end that practice for good.
Falling back and springing forward, supporters of Prop 7 say the seasonal time change is dated.
“It’s a 70-year-old, outdated policy that we’re living in,” Assemblyman Kansen Chu (D-San Jose) said. “Those were passed by our grandfathers and great grandfathers. It’s time for us to revisit it.”
Chu says the biannual changing of the clocks can be hazardous to the health and productivity of kids, workers, and seniors.
“The heart attack rate increases when people lose 1 hour of sleep, and there’s a big mood swing,” Chu said.
If Proposition 7 passes, lawmakers would be given the power to get rid of the time change practice with a two-thirds vote, so long as the changes are consistent with federal law.
Two bills are pending in Congress to make the change permanent across the country.
Opponents of the measure, including state Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson (D-Santa Barbara), raise concerns over students going to school in the dark during winter.
In a statement against Prop 7, Jackson wrote, “requiring days to start in the dark during winter is more than inconvenient–it’s dangerous. It’s dangerous for children heading to school or waiting for the bus in the dark and for adults who have to start their commutes in darkness.”
Chu says pedestrian safety would be addressed if passed.
Opponents also note California would be out of sync with its fellow Pacific Time states and could cause confusion with the rest of the country.
If voters approve Prop 7 and lawmakers come to an agreement, California would join Hawaii and Arizona as states that don’t observe daylight saving.
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