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Effort to eliminate Daylight Saving Time fizzles in Senate: 'I just like it,' says a state senator

A technician adjusts the minute and second hands from the inside of a Victorian Street Clock. (Matt York / Associated Press)
A technician adjusts the minute and second hands from the inside of a Victorian Street Clock. (Matt York / Associated Press)

The state Senate on Tuesday failed to muster the votes on a bill that could have led to the elimination of Daylight Saving Time after members said they like the change each spring.

Sen. Ted Gaines (R-Rocklin) sought to put a measure on the November 2018 ballot that would allow California voters to eliminate the annual resetting of the clock.

Gaines was granted the ability to bring the matter back up for another vote during the next week, but it is unclear if it can get the 21 votes needed to pass. The vote Tuesday was 17-17.

Gaines said the annual change has not resulted in promised significant energy changes, but has led to more workplace injuries.

“The incidents of accidents have gone up,” Gaines told his colleagues, adding “It’s about time we let Californians re-evalutate this longstanding practice.”

In 1947, California voters approved going to Daylight Saving Time in the spring and summer months after it was promoted as a way to reduce fuel consumption because residents would need less energy in the evening if it got darker later in the summer.

Under Daylight Saving Time, the law requires that the clock be advanced one hour from 2 a.m. on the second Sunday of March to 2 a.m. on the first Sunday of November.

But both Republican and Democratic lawmakers noted Congress would ultimately have to approve the change and they saw no reason to put the matter to voters.

Sen. Mark Leno (D-San Francisco) said it would complicate trade, noting there is currently a three-hour difference between the West and East coasts.

“Should the East Coast spring forward and we don’t, now there’s a four-hour gap,” Leno said.

Republican Sen. Jim Nielsen of Gerber said Daylight Saving Time gives farmers more time to tend their fields. Others said they just look forward to the annual shift.

“I like daylight savings. I just like it,” Sen. Anthony Cannella (R-Ceres) said.

Meanwhile, the Assembly approved a resolution that asks Congress to allow California to eliminate Daylight Saving Time if voters decide to do so.

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