Winter time or summer time? California changes its plans again after the congressional resolution.
Most Americans put their clocks forward last month observing daylight saving time, but the debate over semi-annual daylight saving time changes continues at the California State Capitol.
Assemblyman Steven Choi AB2868 would add California to the list of states waiting to switch to permanent daylight saving time if the federal government gives the go-ahead.
California voters approved a ballot measure in 2018 which allows the legislature to direct the federal government to change to permanent standard time or, if authorized by Congress, to permanent daylight saving time. Since then, state lawmakers have been unable to pass laws with the required two-thirds vote. Choi’s bill is the latest attempt.
Choi (R—Irvine) first told CapRadio that he wanted move California to permanent standard timeciting the plea of sleep doctors that a biannual clock change is detrimental to human health.
But when the US Senate approved a measure in March that would allow states to establish permanent daylight saving time, Choi noticed a shift in the political winds of time changes.
“I personally prefer standard time over permanent time,” the Orange County Republican said in an interview. But he acknowledged that going ahead would be “pushing against the tide” as other states and the federal government consider extending daylight saving time.
Choi amended his bill to remove a provision that voters would need to approve a permanent timer. Now all it would take is congressional action.
“My underlying objective of this bill is to establish one hour as permanent time,” he said. “We are moving forward in line with the national movement.”
Seventeen other states have requested to switch to daylight saving time year-round, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures, but this is currently prohibited by federal law. Arizona and Hawaii are on standard time year-round, which Congress allows.
The Senate Daylight Protection Act still requires the approval of the US House and the signature of President Joe Biden to become law.
Choi’s bill could also face obstacles in the legislature. It passed two committee hearings this week, but was voted down by two lawmakers on the Assembly’s Energy and Utilities Committee.
“It seems to me that the natural cycle of things is not daylight saving time,” said Assemblyman Jim Patterson (R-Fresno), one of two lawmakers to vote against the bill. of law during this hearing.
Medical experts prefer standard time all year round
Two groups of sleep experts — the American Academy of Sleep Medicine and the California Sleep Society — oppose DST year-round.
“Biologically, permanent standard time is best for us, our children, and the community,” wrote Dr. Anoop Karippot, board-certified sleep specialist and chair of the psychology department at Scripps Memorial Hospital in San Diego. , in an email to CapRadio. . “We wake up in the sun and sleep when night sets in. We have to respect nature.”
Proponents of a permanent switch to daylight saving time argue that an extra hour of evening sunlight would reduce energy use and give people an extra hour to shop and dine, boosting the economy.
Jay Pea, founder of the nonprofit Save Standard Time, says permanent daylight saving time would increase energy consumption.
“When you wake people up in the morning, they turn on their heating because it’s cold,” he told an Assembly committee this week.
He pointed out that if daylight saving time were permanent, midwinter sunrises wouldn’t arrive until after 8 a.m. in Northern California, which means most workers and students could commute in the dark.
“It was already tried in the 1970s [and] it was hugely unpopular,” Pea said. “Permanent Standard Time is the fastest, federally pre-approved way to end clock changes.”
AB2868 is currently before the Assembly Appropriations Committee, which will determine whether it will be submitted to the full chamber for debate.
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