Why does California still observe daylight saving time 3 years after Prop 7 was passed?

California

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTXL) — It’s been three years since California voters agreed to take the first step to stop seasonal time changes in the state.

Proposition 7 gave the state legislature the power to get rid of them with a two-thirds vote, so long as the changes are consistent with federal law.  

While Californians continue to turn back clocks, the legislature has been stuck on a time debate.

“It comes down to something really simple, anyone can try it at home or ask their friends, ‘Do you want year-round daylight savings time or do you want to get rid of daylight savings time?'” said Asm. Lorena Gonzalez, D-San Diego.

Gonzalez co-authored the measure voters approved back in 2018.

“We have experts, medical professionals who say we need to go to standard time year-round,” Gonzalez explained. “Then you have a lot of parents, people who like evening activities who really want daylight savings time year-round. The authority we have as legislators, we have to get it through with two-thirds of a vote so we haven’t been able to get legislators to agree on one or the other because there are these long-held preferences.”

Before the pandemic hit, some state lawmakers tried to get a measure passed that would’ve put California on permanent daylight saving time, but it stalled.

“The only thing we could do immediately to change it is by two-thirds vote decide to go to standard time year-round, although I haven’t seen that we have the votes to do that,” Gonzalez told FOX40.

“I had an expert reach out to me and they said COVID reminded us we should be outside more, we were outdoor dining, and part of that is stabilizing time change outdoors. I don’t know if it’s a winning argument. We’ll try again to get something through,” she added.

The federal government must approve any permanent switch to daylight saving time. Efforts to keep it year-round are also stalling in congress.

The two states that don’t turn back clocks, Hawaii and Arizona, are on permanent standard time.

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