If one California lawmaker has his way, daylight saving time could soon be a thing of the past. Assemblyman Kansen Chu of San Jose has introduced a bill that, if passed, would put the 67-year-old tradition up to a state-wide vote. If voters approved the measure, California would then be part of a small club — the other members being Hawaii and most of Arizona — that neither springs forward nor falls back.
Chu told the Sacramento Bee that the inspiration for AB 2496 came out of conversations with elderly constituents, who noted that the time change was negatively impacting their lives. Indeed, besides the obvious annoyance of the time change, some studies have shown that DST correlates to increased rates of heart attacks and certain workplace injuries.
“This could be a very controversial one,” Chu told the Bee before noting that polling suggests Californians would likely vote to do away with DST. “I cannot believe that anybody would like to do this fall backward, spring forward thing twice a year,” he continued.
Although taken as a frustrating part of every day life, it has not always been so — daylight saving time was only approved by California voters in 1949 as a means to bolster business (whether or not DST had the intended effect is unclear). A ballot argument against the ultimately successful measure noted that two previous attempts to enact DST had been voted down, and further argued that it would hurt farmers as their "cows know nothing of 'Daylight Saving' and give milk by Nature's law."
If all goes according to Chu's plan, Californians will soon, year round, be on United States Standard Pacific Time.