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Californians Wait For New Laws Before They Stop Changing The Clock

In this Thursday, July 25, 2019 photo, workers at the Electric Time Company i...

Photo by Charles Krupa / AP

Above: In this Thursday, July 25, 2019 photo, workers at the Electric Time Company in Medfield, Mass., test a 20-foot high clock, built for the new train station in Bangkok, Thailand, prior to packing and shipment. The clock features a "9" in Thai number script.

Californians had to turn back their clocks this weekend as they went off Daylight Saving Time. But how long will those clock changes continue, now that California voters have approved Proposition 7?

Proposition 7 was approved by voters last year, and it allows the legislature to change the dates and times of Daylight Saving Time. That means California could go to permanent Daylight Saving Time and eliminate any clock changes.

Listen to this story by Tom Fudge.

But Congress must also approve the plan, which makes it a little tricky.

California Assemblymember Kansen Chu, D-San Jose, was the author of Proposition 7. He said 14 states, including Florida, have passed laws to go with Daylight Saving Time year-round. He added that our neighbors to the north are ready to follow California's lead.

"Washington state and Oregon ... their law, passed by their legislatures, basically said they would go with California time," he said.

Chu and others say that having two annual time changes is an outdated practice that disrupts sleep patterns and increases the risk of heart attacks. He said sticking with Daylight Saving Time will also help public safety and crime prevention by having more daylight in the late afternoon.

"Because that's a time when kids are out of school but the parents are not home," Chu said. "So leaving the daylight a little bit longer will help reduce petty crimes like house break-ins."

Chu said federal legislation to allow permanent daylight saving time has been sponsored by Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida. Chu has sponsored a California law that will go before a state senate committee early next year. Currently, Arizona and Hawaii are the only states that do not fall back or spring ahead, time-wise.

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