SAN DIEGO – Voters in California took the first step toward permanent year-round daylight saving time by approving Proposition 7.
For the measure to take effect it still needs a two-thirds vote from the state Legislature. After that, Congress must then approve such a change.
With 100 percent of the ballots counted, “yes” on Proposition 7 led with 59.9 percent.
The time-change issue was fresh on voters’ minds when they went to the polls. California and most of the rest of the nation reset clocks last Sunday, falling back on standard time and seeing the day get dark one hour earlier.
Democratic Rep. Kansen Chu of San Jose pushed for Proposition 7 because changing the clocks twice a year is a hassle. He sighted an increase in risk of car crashes and heart attacks following the spring change.
Opponents argued that even if California voters and the Legislature approve year-round daylight saving, the hurdle of getting the federal government to agree is too high given the state’s tense relationship with Washington.
And making the switch to permanent daylight saving will cause its own headaches, said Democratic state Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson, who represents Ventura County.
If California goes to year-round daylight saving, the sun won’t rise until 8 a.m. on some winter months, forcing children to walk to school or bus stops in darkness and likely leading to an increase in car and pedestrian accidents, Jackson said.