After an unsuccessful campaign last year to end Daylight Savings Time, a California state lawmaker, Democrat Kansen Chu of San Jose, is trying again to put a stop to springing forward and falling back. He introduced Assembly Bill (AB) 807, which proposes either adjusting Daylight Savings Time or getting rid of it all together – no more changing clocks. In order to get the bill on the ballot, Chu must win the support of his colleagues in the Legislature.
Opponents of the bill have concerns of affecting summer and fall harvests as well as being four hours behind the East Coast for half the year. According to an article written by David Mikkelson for Snopes, the concept of something much like Daylight Saving Time was referenced by Benjamin Franklin in a satirical 1784 essay titled An Economical Project.
After several European countries put daylight time into practice during World War I, the United States formally adopted it in 1918, but it proved unpopular and was discontinued in 1919. (The U.S. still had a large agrarian sector back then, and far fewer businesses stayed open into the later evening hours, so most people tended to rise and retire earlier than they do today…). Most Californians believe that today’s agricultural sector will not be negatively impacted by the discontinuation of Daylight Savings Time.
Advocates for the bill say the societal cost of Daylight Savings far outweighs the benefit, and that time changes hurt personal health. “With Day Light Savings Time, there are more heart attacks, car crashes, and workplace accidents as a result of sleep deprivation so there is a societal cost to this without a whole lot of societal benefit, according to Craig Ashton of Ashton & Price, LLC.
A study done by the American Academy of Neurology in 2016 noted some alarming statistics, from disturbed sleep patterns to higher risk of stroke and heart attack.
If Chu wins over his colleagues — and later, California voters — the Legislature will have the authority to either change the dates and times for Daylight Saving Time or to end it altogether with a simple majority vote. Until then, Daylight Savings Time remains in effect.
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