Prop 7

Prop 7Permanent Daylight Saving Time Measure -I’m voting NO

Current Federal Law allows states 2 choices: (1) Change the time between Standard and Daylight time in spring and fall, or (2)  Permanent Standard Time.  California and Florida have in the past (2016, 2018) requested permission from the US govt to have permanent Daylight Saving Time, but that permission wasn’t granted.

Even if federal law changed to allow permanent DST, CA would still need a ballot initiative to change its time system, since the current CA time system was set up by an initiative (in 1949) and can only be changed by an initiative.
So this initiative, Prop 7,  says: Allow the CA Legislature to enact permanent DST if that ever becomes legal under US Law.

Supporters argue that changing the clocks is a hassle and causes health problems.
Opponents argue that it would be dark at 8 am in many parts of the state with DST in the winter, that coordinating time with other states would get complicated, and that Federal Law isn’t going to change anyway.

I’m on the opponents side. Here’s a good video that I think debunks the health effects argument.


8 thoughts on “Prop 7”

  1. I’m strongly in favor of this initiative, as I’ve always wished DST could extend through winter. I think it’s the worst when I leave my office at 5 pm and it’s already completely dark and the day is over. Wouldn’t it be nice to get more games of beach volleyball in the evening? I’m not a morning person though, so I don’t really care what’s happening at 8 am as I rarely see it.

    Also, I’m not a parent myself, but I’ve learned how horrible it is for parents and their kids to deal with time changes. I think especially when kids are elementary school aged, a regular sleep schedule is very important to establish and difficult to change once established. When clocks change suddenly they may not be able to fall asleep an hour earlier, but they do have to get up for school an hour earlier, so they end up losing an hour of sleep and this can result in severe crankiness and a week of misery for everyone. I’m sure that’s mostly true for adults too, but the results are less noticeable.

    1. But with DST in winter kids would be going to school in pitch dark in the morning. I would think sleep rhythms would be more messed up by having to get up way before the sun, because bodies have natural rhythms connected to the light.

      1. Well they often already do have to get up before the sun. Schools start around 8 am, and it takes time to get kids dressed, teeth brushed, backpacks packed, etc. Plus my friend lives in south county because that’s the only place she could afford (see other measures), but the kids go to schools in Santa Cruz for various reasons, so that can mean an hour in traffic on hwy 1 in the morning, so they’re up before the sun. Also in high school there are zero periods… I think schools start too early, but that’s another matter.

        Anyway I don’t think that’s as big of an issue, since the light changes gradually and, while not ideal, I don’t think it messes with sleep patterns so much. It’s a bigger issue when DST starts in spring, and the kids suddenly have to go to bed and try to sleep while the sun is still high in the sky, so they can wake up an hour earlier than they’re used to waking up – and they’re inevitably a mess.

  2. Thanks, John, for directing us to an informative video about heart attacks and their statistics.
    The speaker appears to assume, however, that heart attacks are the only significant cause of death where he lives. In California, a notably common cause of death is motor vehicle collisions, which apparently are more frequent across the weeks following both the “spring forward” and the “fall back” time changes.

    I’m still undecided about the best future process for deciding how to balance one kind of change against the other. If California were an hour ahead of Oregon, it would confuse life near that border for at least the first couple of winters and I don’t really know how shifting an hour of daylight into the afternoon all winter affects children, on average.

  3. Jesse, thanks for the comments. I read the articles you linked, but didn’t find them very convincing. They didn’t present any data. The first one mentioned a report but didn’t give a link to it. Without data or methodology, it’s really hard to evaluate any claims people are making.
    The second article contained this line:
    “Our bodies’ internal clocks tell us to sleep when it’s dark and wake when it’s light.”
    But then it interpreted that to mean that drowsy nighttime drivers would be more dangerous, without mentioning that drowsy drivers in the morning darkness would also be more dangerous. Maybe the one effect is bigger than the other, but you’d need evidence for such a claim.
    Their arguments sounded kinda like “It just makes sense, so you should believe it.”
    Without data and a description of how the data was obtained, it just seems like someone’s opinion.
    In my opinion, beach volleyball players make better lovers, and it totally makes sense that that would be true because they jump around a lot, etc. But it’s just my opinion without data.
    I’m not really super invested in whether or not we have permanent DST and am totally open to changing my mind about DST if I see evidence that it kills a lot of people, for example. Until then, I’m leaning against it. I do remember back in the 70’s when we had wintertime DST for a couple years, and I remember people really not liking it, mostly because it sucked to be starting your day in the pitch dark.

  4. It sounds like there’s no conclusive evidence on either side of this argument, so if it’s just a matter of preference, what would be the harm in voting yes to allow a possible ballot initiative in the future and letting voters decide?

    1. Oh, maybe I misread your summary – I thought it meant there would still need to be a ballot prop, but it sounds like there wouldn’t… Can you delete my comments? Haha

      1. Here are ways permanent DST could happen:
        1) The feds would have to first approve of the idea. Without this, nothing could happen.
        2a) Given 1, a future ballot prop could set up permanent DST and wouldn’t need ‘permission’ from this prop here.
        2b) Given 1, the CA State Legislature could set up permanent DST, but they WOULD need prior ‘permission’ from a prop like this to do so, since only a prop can trump a previous prop.

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