As a kid, you might have learned the phrase “spring forward, fall back,” in order to help you remember how daylight saving time works.
Since 1918, most of the United States has, on and off, observed the practice of moving the time forward one hour between March and November every year. The idea is to have more light later in the day - so, sunrises and sunsets happen one hour later - darker mornings, lighter evenings. This year, Californians will vote on whether we should keep this practice year round, and make daylight saving time permanent.
Assemblyman Kansen Chu of San Jose sponsored the measure, and he argues that the practice is not only outdated, but dangerous - there are studies that show changing the clocks can increase risk of heart attacks, traffic accidents, and crime. Proponents also argue that this change could reduce energy costs and allow workers to be more productive.
But opponents to the measure, like Senator Jim Nielsen, say that this measure is trying to fix something that’s not broken, and would only create confusion. Plus, it would put California out of sync with the 47 other states that switch back and forth every year.
Voting on Proposition 7 won’t actually change anything - yet. If two thirds of Californians vote yes, it means that state lawmakers will be able to vote on the issue. Then, if two thirds of them vote yes, the federal government would have to approve the change.
So, if you like the idea of more light later in the day all year round, vote yes on Proposition 7. If you’re not happy about the idea of more dark mornings, vote no on Proposition 7. But either way, don’t forget to change your clocks back on the night of November 4th - maybe for the last time?