California Proposition 7, Permanent Daylight Saving Time Measure (2018)

October 9, 2018
By

South San Francisco, CA   October 8, 2018

This November election starts now with ballots being mailed out allowing us to vote earlier than the November 6th deadline in this all mail in election. There is much on the ballot worthy of our consideration and it is important to remember; YOU DO NOT NEED TO VOTE ON EVERY ITEM. Pick a few issues that are meaningful to you, study up on those and make and educated vote. Many people vote based on who endorsed them/issue, for good or bad, and again it is our responsibility to study up and make our own decisions using endorsements as a guide.

On the ballot this year is Prop 7 which would keep daylight saving time permanent which has been a conversation we’ve had multiple times on our facebook page. Actually this conversation comes up every time we must re-set our clocks so it seems worthy to share more detailed information on the Proposition to allow our South City voters to make their own decision based on these facts. This information below comes from Ballotpedia CLICK HERE for more info

As a reminder our Daylight Saving Time changes on November 4th this year.

 

California Proposition 7, the Permanent Daylight Saving Time Measure, is on the ballot in California as a legislatively referred state statute on November 6, 2018.

A yes vote supports allowing the California State Legislature to establish permanent, year-round daylight saving time (DST) in California by a two-thirds vote if federal law is changed to allow for permanent DST.
A no vote opposes allowing the California State Legislature to establish permanent, year-round daylight saving time (DST) in California by a two-thirds vote if federal law is changed to allow for permanent DST.

Overview

How would this ballot measure impact daylight saving time in California?

Proposition 7 would allow the California State Legislature to establish permanent, year-round daylight saving time (DST) by a two-thirds vote if the federal Uniform Time Act is changed to allow for permanent DST.[1]

As of 2018, the Uniform Time Act allows states to adopt one of two options: (a) adopt DST between the second Sunday of March or the first Sunday of November or (b) remain on standard time all year. In 2016, the California State Legislature asked the President and Congress to pass an act that would allow California to adopt year-round DST.[2] In March 2018, Florida also asked the federal government to allow the state to enact year-round DST.[3]

To enact Proposition 7, Proposition 12 (1949), a ballot initiative that established DST in California, would need to be repealed. In California, a ballot initiative cannot be repealed without the consent of voters. Therefore, the state legislature cannot take action unless voters approve Proposition 7.[1]

Has the United States ever used permanent DST?

California, and the entire United States, had permanent DST between 1942 and 1945. President Franklin D. Roosevelt labeled permanent DST as War Time because the change was intended to save energy during World War II. According to Time, farmers were some of the strongest opponents of permanent DST. U.S. Rep. James Wadsworth (R-N.Y.), a critic of permanent DST, said, “Your net gain is fatigue for the farmer.”[4] In 1973, President Richard Nixon signed legislation to enact permanent DST for a period of 16 months as a response to an OPEC-backed oil embargo. Less than 11 months after the bill’s enactment, the law was amended to return the nation to standard time during the winter months over concerns about children commuting to school in the dark. Therefore, a full-year of permanent DST was not completed.[5]

Text of the measure

Ballot title

The official ballot title is as follows:[6]

Conforms California Daylight Saving Time to Federal Law. Allows Legislature to Change Daylight Saving Time Period. Legislative Statute.[7]

Ballot summary

The official ballot summary is as follows:[6]

  • Establishes the time zone designated by federal law as “Pacific standard time” as the standard time within California.
  • Provides that California daylight saving time begins at 2 a.m. on the second Sunday of March and ends at 2 a.m. on the first Sunday of November, consistent with current federal law.
  • Permits the Legislature by two-thirds vote to make future changes to California’s daylight saving time period, including for its year-round application, if changes are consistent with federal law.[7]

Fiscal impact statement

The fiscal impact statement is as follows:[6]

This measure has no direct fiscal effect because changes to daylight saving time would depend on future actions by the Legislature and potentially the federal government.[7]

Full text

The measure would repeal Proposition 12, also known as the Daylight Saving Time Act, in Section 6807 of the California Government Code. The measure would add new text as Section 6808 of the state Government Code. The following underlined text would be added and struck-through text would be deleted:[1]

If federal law authorizes the state to provide for the year-round application of daylight saving time and the Legislature considers the adoption of this application, it is the intent of the this act to encourage the Legislature to consider the potential impacts of year-round daylight saving time on communities along the border between California and other states and between California and Mexico.

Section 6808 of Government Code

(a) (a) The standard time within the state is that of the fifth zone designated by federal law as Pacific standard time (15 U.S.C. Secs. 261 and 263).

(b) The standard time within the state shall advance by one hour during the daylight saving time period commencing at 2 a.m. on the second Sunday of March of each year and ending at 2 a.m. on the first Sunday of November of each year.

(c) Notwithstanding subdivision (b), the Legislature may amend this section by a two-thirds vote to change the dates and times of the daylight saving time period, consistent with federal law, and, if federal law authorizes the state to provide for the year-round application of daylight saving time, the Legislature may amend this section by a two-thirds vote to provide for that application.

Section 6807 of Government Code

Section 1. This act shall be known and may be cited as the Daylight Saving Time Act.

Section 2. The standard time within the State, except as hereinafter provided, is that of the One Hundred and Twentieth (120th) degree of longitude west from Greenwich and which is now known, described and designated by Act of Congress as “United States Standard Pacific Time.”

Section 3. From 1 o’clock antemeridian on the last Sunday of April, until 2 o’clock antemeridian on the last Sunday of October, the standard time in this State so established shall be one hour in advance of the standard time now known as United States Standard Pacific time.

Section 4. In all laws, statutes, orders, decrees, rules and regulations relating to the time of performance of any act by any officer or department of this State, or of any county, city and county, city, town or district thereof or relating to the time in which any rights shall accrue or determine, or within which any act shall or shall not be performed by any person subject to the jurisdiction of the State, and in all the public schools and in all other institutions of this State, or of any county, city and county, city, town or district thereof, and in all contracts or choses in actions made or to be performed in this State, the time shall be as set forth in this act and it shall be so understood and intended.

Section 5. All acts in conflict herewith are hereby repealed.

Readability score

See also: Ballot measure readability scores, 2018
Using the Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level (FKGL) and Flesch Reading Ease (FRE) formulas, Ballotpedia scored the readability of the ballot title and summary for this measure. Readability scores are designed to indicate the reading difficulty of text. The Flesch-Kincaid formulas account for the number of words, syllables, and sentences in a text; they do not account for the difficulty of the ideas in the text. The attorney general wrote the ballot language for this measure.
The FKGL for the ballot title is grade level 12, and the FRE is 17. The word count for the ballot title is 18, and the estimated reading time is 4 seonds. The FKGL for the ballot summary is grade level 15.5, and the FRE is 32. The word count for the ballot summary is 80, and the estimated reading time is 21 seconds.

For the 2017 ballot, the average ballot question required 20 years of U.S. formal education (graduate school-level of education) to read and comprehend, according to the FKGL formula.

Support

Arguments

  • Rep. Kansen Chu (D-25), a legislative sponsor of the measure, described daylight saving time (DST) as an “outdated practice of switching our clocks in the fall and spring.”[8] He also said, “… voters will get to decide whether or not to eliminate the practice of switching our clocks twice a year. We started this practice to conserve energy during wartime, but studies show that this is no longer the case. We are no longer saving energy, and studies have shown this practice increases risk of heart attacks, traffic accidents and crimes. It is time that we as a state reconsider whether this is still beneficial to our residents.”[9]

Official arguments

Rep. Kansen Chu (D-25), Rep. Lorena Gonzalez (D-80), and Sion Roy, a cardiologist, wrote the official argument found in the state voter information guide in support of Proposition 7:[6]

What does it cost us to change our clocks twice a year? Here are some facts to consider.

University medical studies in 2012 found that the risk of heart attacks increases by 10% in the two days following a time change.

In 2016, further research revealed that stroke risks increase 8% when we change our clocks. For cancer patients the stroke risk increases 25% and for people over age 65 stroke risk goes up 20%. All because we disrupt sleep patterns.

And every parent knows what it means when our children’s sleep patterns are disrupted twice a year.

Now consider money. Changing our clocks twice a year increases our use of electricity 4% in many parts of the world, increases the amount of fuel we use in our cars, and comes with a cost of $434 million. That’s money we can save.

Changing our clocks doesn’t change when the sun rises or sets. Nature does that. Summer days will always be longer. Winter days will stay shorter.

Since 2000, 14 countries have stopped changing their clocks. And now 68% of all the countries don’t do it. They allow nature to determine time, not their governments. Lowering health risk. Reducing energy consumption. Saving money.

A YES vote on Proposition 7 allows California to consider making Daylight Saving Time or Standard Time our year-round time—changing things that are more important than changing our clocks.

Proposition 7 will require a two-thirds vote of the Legislature before any final decision is made.[7]

Opposition

Arguments

  • Sen. Jim Nielsen (R-4) said, “It’s fixing something that is not broken. Our society has acculturated itself to Daylight Savings Time. I think it would create too much confusion to change it again.”[10]
  • Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson (D-19) stated, “First, if California wants it, the federal government is going to say ‘no.’ Second, the system we have really does the best to accommodate people. Third, with so many critical issues facing this state — housing, healthcare, the gas tax — to dive into the pros and cons of this diminishes the importance of more substantive ballot measures.”[11]
  • Severin Borenstein, a professor at the UC Berkeley Haas School of Business, said, “Permanent DST would likely lead to more pedestrian accidents on winter mornings as more adults and children venture out in darkness.”[11]

Official arguments

Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson (D-19) and Rep. Phillip Chen (R-55) wrote the official argument found in the state voter information guide in opposition to Proposition 7:[6]

Please vote “No” on Proposition 7.

Proposition 7 will result in California switching to permanent Daylight Saving Time.

We’ve tried this before and it was a disaster. In 1974, an energy crisis led President Nixon to declare emergency full-time Daylight Saving Time. It was supposed to last 16 months but was stopped after 10 months because people hated the fact that in the morning, the sun rose too late.

Daylight Saving Time does not create more hours of daylight. It just changes when those daylight hours occur. If you live in Anaheim, the sun will rise at 6:55 a.m. on Christmas morning this year. With Daylight Saving Time, it would be 7:55 a.m.

We have Daylight Saving Time in the summer so it is light after we get home from work. And we switch to Standard Time in the winter so it’s light in the morning.

What will it mean to have permanent Daylight Saving Time? The sun will rise an hour later than if we were on Standard Time. If you live in Eureka or Susanville, it would still be dark at 8 a.m. on New Year’s Day. If you live in Los Angeles or Twentynine Palms, the sun won’t rise until 7:30 a.m. or later from November to February. Those of you who like to wake up with the sun will wake up in the dark. You’ll be getting your family ready for the day in the dark; your kids will be walking to school or waiting for the school bus before the sun rises. For those of you who get your exercise or attend religious services before work, you’ll be doing it in darkness.

Some make the argument that Daylight Saving Time saves us energy or makes us safer. But there’s no scientific evidence of that. It’s just a question of convenience. We now have Daylight Saving Time in the summer so we can have extra light in the evening, when we can enjoy it, rather than having that daylight between 5 and 6 in the morning when we’d prefer it were dark. And then in the winter we switch back to Standard Time so it’s not so dark in the morning.

Being on permanent Daylight Saving Time will put us out of sync with our neighbors. While we’ll always have the same time as Arizona, part of the year we’ll have the same time as the other Mountain Time states and the rest of the year we’ll be in line with Nevada, Oregon, Washington, and Mexico.

Yes, it’s a minor inconvenience when we “Spring ahead” and we lose that hour (even though it’s great to get that extra hour when we “Fall back”). But avoiding these transitions is not worth the confusion with other states’ times, and the months of dark mornings we’ll have to endure if we have permanent Daylight Saving Time.[7]

Campaign finance

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