California Proposition 7, Permanent Daylight Saving Time Measure (2018)

California Proposition 7, the Permanent Daylight Saving Time Measure, is on the ballot in California as a legislatively referred state statute on November 6, 2018.

Overview

How would this ballot measure impact daylight saving time in California?

Proposition 7 would allow the California State Legislature to establish permanent, year-round daylight saving time (DST) by a two-thirds vote if the federal Uniform Time Act is changed to allow for permanent DST.
As of 2018, the Uniform Time Act allows states to adopt one of two options: (a) adopt DST between the second Sunday of March or the first Sunday of November or (b) remain on standard time all year. In 2016, the California State Legislature asked the President and Congress to pass an act that would allow California to adopt year-round DST. In March 2018, Florida also asked the federal government to allow the state to enact year-round DST.
To enact Proposition 7, Proposition 12 (1949), a ballot initiative that established DST in California, would need to be repealed. In California, a ballot initiative cannot be repealed without the consent of voters. Therefore, the state legislature cannot take action unless voters approve Proposition 7.

Has the United States ever used permanent DST?

California, and the entire United States, had permanent DST between 1942 and 1945. President Franklin D. Roosevelt labeled permanent DST as War Time because the change was intended to save energy during World War II. According to Time, farmers were some of the strongest opponents of permanent DST. U.S. Rep. James Wadsworth (R-N.Y.), a critic of permanent DST, said, “Your net gain is fatigue for the farmer.” In 1973, President Richard Nixon signed legislation to enact permanent DST for a period of 16 months as a response to an OPEC-backed oil embargo. Less than 11 months after the bill’s enactment, the law was amended to return the nation to standard time during the winter months over concerns about children commuting to school in the dark. Therefore, a full-year of permanent DST was not completed.

Ballot Title

The official ballot title is as follows:

“Conforms California Daylight Saving Time to Federal Law. Allows Legislature to Change Daylight Saving Time Period. Legislative Statute.”

Text of the measure

Ballot summary

The official ballot summary is as follows:

  • Establishes the time zone designated by federal law as “Pacific standard time” as the standard time within California.
  • Provides that California daylight saving time begins at 2 a.m. on the second Sunday of March and ends at 2 a.m. on the first Sunday of November, consistent with current federal law.
  • Permits the Legislature by two-thirds vote to make future changes to California’s daylight saving time period, including for its year-round application, if changes are consistent with federal law.