Local lawmaker plans to abolish the entire notion of Daylight Saving

by Anjay Saklecha, Reporter

California state Assemblyman Kansen Chu recently proposed a bill that would eliminate Daylight Saving in the state of California.

If passed, Assembly Bill 2496 would designate the United States Standard Pacific Time as the year-round official time of California. In other words, California state residents would not set their clocks an hour forward in the month of March.

This year, Daylight Saving time started on March 13 and will end on Nov. 6.

Daylight Saving was originally established in California in 1949 to decrease energy consumption, encouraging residents to make use of natural light during the daytime along with the extra hour of daylight. More than 60 years later, Chu views Daylight Saving as an outdated tradition that presents a major inconvenience to working-class citizens. With the technological status of our society, Daylight Saving no longer produces a conservation of energy. According to Chu, the resulting one-hour loss of sleep triggers decreased productivity levels for students and workers and increased rates of accidents and injuries.

“California should be leading this change,” Chu said in an interview with the Sacramento Bee. “I cannot believe that anybody would like to do this fall backward, spring forward thing twice a year.”

Zeyad el-Arabaty (12) also agrees with Chu and his movements to abolish the idea.

“I totally agree with the lawmaker,” he said. “I don’t want to lose sleep, and I don’t think many people do, other than those ready to get up out of bed and start their day an hour earlier. But, basically, there’s no point in creating two different times when we can stay constant and standard the whole year.”

Not everyone agrees with this bill. Some believe the extra hour of light actually heightens energy levels, while lowering accident rates in the long run. Eliminating Daylight Saving could also interfere with after school activities or commitments, including sports practices.

“We are still trying to figure out the sunset times of this proposal, but I’m pretty sure it would require earlier dismissal times in both fall and spring sports… winter would be as normal,” Upper School Athletic Director Dan Molin said. “But we are just one small piece of that much larger question. I haven’t thought through the total ramifications state-wide.”

If Bill 2496 passes, it could be the last time we “spring forward.” The bill must be approved by both houses of the California legislature and the governor before it can be placed on the ballot for voters.

This piece was originally published in the pages of The Winged Post on March 23, 2016.