On Sunday, Californians once again did the time warp and put clocks forward an hour to mark the beginning of 2019’s daylight saving time.
Now San Jose Assemblyman Kansen Chu is once again mounting a crusade against this twice-yearly clock turning, as his new bill to eliminate the practice—invented by Benjamin Franklin—and put the entire state on permanent daylight saving time springs forward.
According to Chu’s Bill, AB 7:
This act is an urgency statute necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health, or safety within the meaning of Article IV of the California Constitution and shall go into immediate effect. [...]
Many studies show the adverse effects of biannual time changes on human health and safety, including increases in heart attacks, strokes, traffic accidents, and workplace injuries. Research also shows the benefits of year-round daylight saving time to public health, safety, and the economy. In order to prevent the ill effects of biannual time changes as soon as possible, it is necessary that this act take effect immediately.
Research indicates that America’s timetable ritual may negatively affect public health.
Findings published in the journal Interventional Cardiology suggest that “the Monday following spring time changes was associated with a 24 percent increase in [heart attack] counts, and the Tuesday following fall changes was conversely associated with a 21 percent reduction.”
In 2018, California voters approved of Chu’s plan in a 60-40 landslide.
However, neither the state nor the voters can make such a change themselves, as California would need permission from the federal government to opt out of the national time change.
Presently, only Hawaii and Arizona do not participate in twice-yearly ritual.
First things first: AB 7 needs to get the approval of California’s legislature. The bill will face its first committee hearing later in March. Previous similar bills have advanced in the past, but always faltered at key points.