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California Legislature

California lawmakers take a (small) first step to doing away with Daylight Saving Time

 (Elise Amendola / Associated Press)
(Elise Amendola / Associated Press)

Lawmakers in the state Assembly approved an effort on Thursday that could end with California voters scrapping the biannual tradition of moving their clocks ahead or behind by an hour.

Assembly Bill 807 is the second effort in as many years by the Legislature to revisit California's use of Daylight Saving Time. The state's voters first approved its use through a 1949 ballot measure. And because of that history, the issue must go back to voters if changes are to be made.

The bill received almost no discussion in Thursday's 48-6 vote in the Assembly. It now heads to the state Senate, where a similar effort died last year.

The proposal would, if placed on next year's statewide ballot, seek to keep California on a single measurement of time all year — whether it be Pacific standard time or what's now only a seasonal adjustment ahead by an hour. The bill by Assemblyman Kansen Chu (D-San Jose) would ask voters to transfer a final decision to the Legislature.

Even then, no changes could be made without federal approval — which would mean the bill could end up changing nothing about timekeeping in California.

Daylight Saving Time was first applied in a uniform fashion across the U.S. in 1966. States can exempt themselves from the law — Arizona and Hawaii have done so — but cannot impose the seasonal change year-round.

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