San Jose Assemblyman Kansen Chu had a dream, a dream to end Daylight Saving Time in California and to keep the state on the same time year round. But that dream was crushed Tuesday, when the state Senate voted against allowing the proposal on the November ballot.
As previously reported, Chu had hoped to allow voters to decide if the state should stay on Standard Pacific Time year-round, a plan that had initial success when it was approved by the State Senate Energy, Utilities and Communications Committee in June.
But it takes more than a single committee vote to make anything happen, especially when we're talking about State government. And in a Tuesday vote of the upper house, the bill was four votes short of the 21 necessary to pass.
As noted by the East Bay Times, the legislation had support and opposition from members of both parties, with 11 Democrats and six Republicans voting in support, and 10 Democrats and seven Republicans voting against.
One of the most vocal opponents of the proposal was outgoing San Francisco Senator Mark Leno, who objected that "there's some real unintended consequences" if CA voters agreed to pick one time and stick with it. Primary among those consequences: If we abolished DST, for half the year we'd be four hours behind the East Coast instead of three, a time difference that could make life well nigh insufferable for people with (love you, Gothamist!) bosses back east.
And then there's the farmers, who "need the extra hour of daylight during fall and summer harvests," Gerber (not the baby food) Senator Jim Nielsen argued, according to the EBT.
And then there's Ceres-based Senator Anthony Cannella, who according to Courthouse News said "I just like it," regarding DST.
Apparently fearing that if the measure made it to the ballot, Californians couldn't be trusted to protect farmers, people with New York-based bosses, and things Anthony Cannella likes, Senate opponents killed Assembly Bill 385, and Chu's dreams along with it....or did they? As Courthouse News reports, they also voted unanimously "to let Chu bring the bill up for a reconsideration vote before the Aug. 31 legislative deadline if he chooses."
Messages sent to Chu to see if he would, indeed, choose were not returned at publication time. But back in June, he seemed pretty pumped about letting voters have the final say on the matter, Cannella's fondness be damned.
"Daylight Saving Time is an institution that has been in place largely without question for more than half a century," Chu said at the time.
"I think we owe it to the general public to be given the opportunity to decide for themselves whether or not it ought to be continued.” And if he can convince Cannella, Leno, and others, perhaps we'll get to make that decision, after all.