CA To Turn Clocks Back, Despite Vote To Oust The Biannual Switch

Kat Schuster
·3 min read

CALIFORNIA — At 2 a.m. Sunday, Californians will receive another hour of 2020, whether they like it or not. Residents in the Golden State will turn their clocks back to standard time despite a proposition that was approved by voters in 2018 that would have kept year-round Daylight Saving Time.

Prop 7 was approved by nearly 60 percent of California voters to end the biannual time switch, according to multiple reports. But the ambitious legislation required a two-thirds vote of the State Senate, which fell by the wayside after the federal government failed to approve the effort in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.

AB 7 was denied a hearing in the state senate and was ultimately stalled due to the pandemic, according to Assemblyman Kansen Chu (D-San Jose), who co-authored the legislation.

"I share the frustration many are feeling that we have to switch our clocks once again this November," Chu tweeted Wednesday. "While we have made progress towards ditching the practice of switching our clocks twice a year, my effort was stalled due to the pandemic and a shortened legislative session."

He added that he will not be returning to the State Assembly next year, but that he would advocate for the federal government to allow California to officially adopt the law.

In November of last year, Chu issued a statement promising his commitment to get the legislation passed.

Chu also cited the following studies and reasons why the proposition was important:

  • A decrease in robberies during the DST period: Robbery rates for the day drop 7 percent for an extra evening hour gained, robbery rates dropped 27 percent.

  • DST has significant electricity and environmental costs.

  • A significant increase in heart attack risk occurs on the Monday following the time shift.

  • Rates of fatal traffic accidents increase on both the Monday after the shift to DST and the Sunday of the shift to standard time.

  • Rates of workplace injuries and work days lost increase due to sleep loss when "springing forward."

  • A study of Los Angeles showed a 3.5 percent drop in per capita daily card spending during standard time, specifically at grocery stores.

"Throughout the years, countless studies have shown the numerous adverse effects of switching our clocks twice a year and the benefits of daylight saving time," Chu wrote in the 2018 statement.

Nonetheless, Californians, and most other states, will "fall back" early Sunday morning.

And as usual, fire officials urged people to use the semi-annual clock change as a reminder to replace batteries in smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, as well as emergency flashlights.

Smoke alarms have a life span of about 10 years and have the date stamped on the back, fire officials said.

The City News Service contributed to this report.

This article originally appeared on the Across California Patch