On November 6th, millions around the nation voted for new changes to the country on what is known as Election Day in America. It is always held on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November and a day the country looks forward to for possible changes to the nation.
One of the few things voted on in California were the propositions or potential new laws to the state.
Proposition 7 was one of the few propositions on the ballot in California. This proposition if passed, would lead to year-round Daylight Saving Time (DST) in the state of California. If not, the regular change from Daylight Saving Time and Standard time would continue to alternate like the majority of the country.
This proposition was barely an issue discussed among important officials in the state with more significant issues at stake on the ballot. After all of the votes were counted, there were 8,118,044 votes made by the residents of California with 60.1% or 4,877,518 votes in favor of year-round DST, and 39.9% or 3,240,526 votes wishing not to change. The proposition passed easily with nearly 60% in favor of the later sunset and sunrise times.
This doesn’t mean that California will automatically change to year round DST. This just means that the California State Legislature gets permission to approve this proposition by a two-thirds vote. If that gets approved, Congress also has to approve it as well which could mean the chances of this proposition going through may be unlikely. Earlier this year, Florida approved the Sunshine Protection Act which would bring year round DST to the state as well, but Congress has barely made any action towards making a judgement.
Daylight Saving Time was originally installed during WWII to cut energy use with more light later in the day, but a survey conducted in the 1970’s by the U.S. Department of Transportation found out that Americans saved only 1 percent of money on their electric bills because of DST. Daylight Saving Time was also created to benefit farmers, but farmers opposed and still oppose this tradition because it disrupts their schedules and makes it more difficult to get hired help.
Some benefits of having year-round Daylight Saving Time is that there is more light later in the day the whole year, which means it would be safer at night when heading home from work and doing outdoor activities. There would be increased productivity later in the day with more light, so people would be more active year round outdoors.
This would also be better for the economy since more people would be at shops or outdoor markets with more sunlight. People would also not have to adjust their sleeping schedule with the change from DST to Standard Time. There is a 25% more of a chance of experiencing a heart attack the Monday after switching to DST due to losing a hour of sleep.
However, some cons of having DST year-round is that the sun would rise later in the morning so students would essentially be going to school in the dark, especially in the winter. If Daylight Saving Time was in effect on December 21st, the sun would rise at a dangerous time of 7:55 AM in LA..
There could also be more pedestrian and car accidents in the morning when it’s darker. Students walking to school could get into accidents when it’s darker in the morning. Switching to permanent DST would also lead to California being out of sync in the time zone when the majority of the country switches to Standard Time. This could cause a majority of hiccups across California and different states.
Although there are many benefits about changing to year round Daylight Saving Time in California, there are also many harmful effects of permanent Daylight Saving Time that can outweigh the positives. This may prevent the California State Legislature and Congress from approving this deal, but there is a chance that California may be the newest state to have year round Daylight Saving Time.
Jonathan Kim, Grade 7
Culver City Middle School