Full time daylight savings time bill passed by California Senate | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Full time daylight savings time bill passed by California Senate

Susan Wood

Californians may see a little light at the end of the energy crisis tunnel.

A bill that asks for Congressional approval to let the Golden State adopt daylight-saving time year-round passed Thursday in the state Senate.

The 30-1 vote whisked through the Senate after passing the Committee on Energy, Utilities and Communications by a 7-1 vote the day before.

First District Sen. Tom “Rico” Oller, R-Roseville voted for the measure introduced by Sen. Betty Karnette, D-Long Beach. It’s now headed to the California Assembly.

“Daylight-saving time is very popular with Californians,” Karnette stated. “I think it’s high time that we give something back to Californians who could become even further inconvenienced by power shortages, power outages, exorbitant price hikes and painstaking conservation efforts.”

Karnette is using studies conducted by the U.S. Transportation and Energy departments that demonstrate how maintaining daylight-saving time cut 1 percent of the nation’s energy consumption during the height of the oil embargo of the mid-1970s.

“Time and again, daylight-saving time has been employed to reduce energy use. And time and again, it has produced the desired effect,” she added.

“Since we have a more temperate climate in California, we feel we can add to that amount,” Karnette’s spokesman Charles Wright said Wednesday afternoon.

The hope and expectation is more energy consumption will occur later in the day.

“We don’t gain daylight,” Oller spokesman Jim Cajol said. “It would just be darker in the morning but lighter at night.”

Cajol believes Oller will vote for the proposal but may want to hear more regarding safety concerns.

“There are pros and cons,” Cajol said. “The senator is a strong supporter of states’ rights. But we don’t want to create new problems.”

Critics have argued the extension may put students at harm, if they end up walking to school in the dark at certain times of the year.

Either way, the bill hinges on federal approval. To save time on passage, U.S. Rep. Brad Sherman, D-Woodland Hills, has introduced a bill that grants the authority to expand daylight-saving time. It’s in a House subcommittee.

The federal Uniform Time Act of 1966 allows states to decline applying the daylight-saving time change. It provides states with the option of practicing standard time all year without federal approval – but not the reverse.

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