Proposition 7: Conforms California Daylight Saving Time to Federal Law. Allows Legislature to Change Daylight Saving Time Period.


The Question: 

Should the legislature be allowed to change Daylight Saving Time by a two-thirds vote if federal law authorizes it?

The Situation: 

Part-year Daylight Saving Time was started during World War II in order to save energy. California voters approved it in 1949 and for that reason, the voters would have to vote to authorize the legislature to change it to year-round.

Federal law requires states to have Daylight Saving Time from early March to early November and standard time the rest of the year (about four months).  However, states are permitted to have standard time all year, without federal approval.  Hawaii and Arizona stay on standard time all year. In order for a state to switch to year-round Daylight Saving Time, Congress and the President must approve the proposal.

The Proposal: 

Prop. 7 is both an advisory measure and a change in law. It encourages the legislature to consider instituting year-round Daylight Saving Time. It would change current law by requiring a two-thirds vote of the Legislature to change the period of Daylight Saving Time, to make it year round, or to stay on standard time. However, even if two-thirds of the legislature passes such a bill, the change to year-round Daylight Saving Time would still have to approved by a vote of Congress and a Presidential signature.

Fiscal Effect: 

The proposition has no direct fiscal impact on state and local government because the legislature and the federal government still must act on it. If the change is made, there could be a minor fiscal impact that is unknown at this time.

What a YES or NO Vote Means
A YES Vote Means: 

The Legislature, with a two-thirds vote, could change daylight saving time if the change is allowed by the federal government. Absent any legislative change, California would maintain its current daylight saving time period (early March to early November).

A NO Vote Means: 

California would maintain its current daylight saving time period.

Support & Opposition
Supporters Say: 
  • Medical studies show that the risk of heart attacks and strokes increases during the days following a time change.
  • Changing clocks twice a year increases our use of electricity by 4%, increases the amount of fuel used by cars and costs $434 million.
Opponents Say: 
  • The United States tried year-round Daylight Savings Time in 1974 because of the energy crisis. People hated getting up in the dark in the morning.
  • There are no conclusive studies that having Daylight Savings Time year-round saves energy or money.