As Daylight Saving Time Approaches, California Lawmaker Calls for End to Time Change
If one California lawmaker has his way, Sunday’s daylight saving time would mark the last time residents would have to wind their clocks forward.
Assemblyman Kansen Chu, D- San Jose, recently proposed Assembly Bill 2496, which seeks to end the biannual time changes in California.
The measure would undo Proposition 12, the voter-approved daylight saving time initiative that passed in 1949.
Chu’s bill calls for California to observe Standard Pacific Time during the entire year, abolishing the decades-old practice of “falling back” and “springing forward.”
As Chu explained to the Sacramento Bee, he starting thinking about the issue after listening to “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.”
That led him to research the matter, the results of which painted a negative picture of daylight saving time, he said.
One of the primary arguments for the time shift has long been that it promotes energy conservation. However, a study conducted by Indiana University in October 2008 concluded that “there is surprisingly little evidence that DST actually saves energy.”
In fact, among the significant finding in the experiment was that it actually increased electricity demand.
There’s also evidence that the loss of an hour of sleep due to the time change can be more than just a minor nuisance: studies have shown it can increase the risk of health-related problems, including stroke and heart attack, as well as workplace accidents and car crashes.
A number of online petitions have emerged seeking to end daylight saving time in the U.S., including a Petition2Congress.com campaign that has been supported by more than 90,000 people as of Saturday morning.
Recent polls have indicated steadily declining support for the time shift. A 2014 Rasmussen poll, for example, showed just 33 percent of Americans felt it was “worth the hassle.”
Daylight saving time was first mentioned by Benjamin Franklin in 1784, but the U.S. and Europe didn’t establish it until World War I.
Since then, it has been repealed, reinstated and extended; states can exempt themselves from participating, although nearly all observe the time change, with the exception of Hawaii and most of Arizona.
Daylight saving time goes into effect 2 a.m. Sunday and ends on Nov. 6
CNN contributed to this story.