(August 7, 2017) Hear the audio version
While you were adjusting to the changing climate or catching up on the latest White House scandal, the state Assembly, once again, considered scrapping daylight time. After all, Arizona and Hawaii don’t have it. Springing forward in March and falling back in November is disruptive: traffic accidents and heart attacks go up, productivity dips. But … it turns out getting rid of an hour of light at the end of the day is wildly unpopular with parks and rec departments, Little League, surfers, runners and other casual exercisers, and the Facebook group “Save the Light.” Contrary to folklore, farmers don’t care one way or another.
So the latest proposal is permanent daylight time for California.
Seriously. That’s about as likely to happen as Calexit, the on-again, off-again idea for California to secede from the U.S. Did state Assembly members consider the complications before voting in favor of Assembly Bill 807 and sending it on to the state Senate?
Let’s stop for a moment. Under permanent daylight time, the sun wouldn’t rise till 8:25 AM in January when kids go back to school in the dark after winter break. Also, imagine being in a different time zone than Oregon and Washington—but only from the first Sunday in November to the second Sunday in March. Heck, most people now don’t realize it’s PDT, not PST, until November 5th.
California operates in a global economy. Do we really want to make it harder for the rest of the world to do business with us in order to have everlasting daylight saving time?
For this goofy idea to become reality, the bill needs approval by the state Senate. Then it would go on the ballot—because Californians can always use another issue to vote on. If that passed, Congress would need to approve the change. And we all know how much the U.S. Congress loves California. I don’t know whether it’s time to shake my head or laugh. I think I’ll laugh.
With a Perspective, I’m Debbie Duncan.
Update: the California legislature failed to pass this flawed bill in 2017. Woohoo!