California Ballot Initiative Analysis: Proposition 7
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California Ballot Initiative Analysis: Proposition 7

Proposition 7 would allow the legislature to end bi-annual clock changes in California.

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

Proposition 7 would allow the legislature to end bi-annual clock changes in California. By a two-thirds vote, the legislature could place California on permanent Daylight Saving Time—but only if federal law was first changed to allow it.

Fiscal Impact

No direct fiscal impact.

Proponents’ Arguments For

Proponents argue that setting the clocks forward in March and back in November wastes energy and jeopardizes public health. They cite research that finds strokes, heart attacks and accidents increase following time changes due to disrupted sleep patterns.

Opponents’ Arguments Against

Opponents argue that permanent Daylight Saving Time would mean that Californians would wake up in the dark during the winter. It would also mean that time differences between California and other states would vary during the year. For example, if Nevada continues to switch back and forth between Standard and Daylight Saving Time, California would have a one-hour time difference with Nevada for part of the year.


Although permanent Daylight Saving Time would desynchronize California from certain states, it would place the state in sync with Arizona,  which does not make time changes. Further, the Florida legislature approved the same change as Proposition 7 earlier this year and is awaiting Congressional approval. If California adopts permanent Daylight Saving Time it may well be followed by other states.

The case for changing the time each spring and fall was never very strong and the practice has attracted increasing criticism. The energy-saving benefits for springing forward and falling back are exaggerated, if not non-existent.

Recently, Business Insider noted that time changes in the US also cause problems with plane scheduling and can trigger jetlag-like symptoms that can take up to three weeks to dissipate. Long-term changes could be made across the country. For example, calls for Eastern Time and Mountain Time zones to adopt Standard Time permanently, while Central and Pacific Time zone states adopt year-round Daylight Saving Time.  The result would be only two time zones in the lower-48 and a two-hour time difference between the east and west coasts.

Voters’ Guide to the 2018 California Ballot Initiatives

The Voters’ Guide offers analysis of each of the 11 ballot propositions certified for the election being held on November 6, 2018.