SACRAMENTO, CALIFORNIA — California may soon join Arizona and Hawaii as the only states without daylight saving time.
A bill to end the state’s observance of daylight saving time has cleared its first committee. Assembly Bill 385 needs to gain approval by a two-thirds majority of both houses of the California Legislature and be signed by Governor Jerry Brown. The measure would then be put before the public for a referendum asking voters whether or not the state should eliminate the practice.
Proponents of the bill say that altered summertime hours lead to a higher risk of health issues stemming from interrupted sleep cycles.
According to a study presented at the American Academy of Neurology’s 68th Annual Meeting in April, overall rate for stroke was 8 percent higher in the two days after daylight saving time. Cancer victims were 25 percent more likely to have a stroke during that time, and people older than 65 were 20 percent more likely to have a stroke.
A study conducted by the University of Alabama at Birmingham found that the changing of clocks in spring for daylight saving time is associated with a 10 percent increase in risk of heart attacks.
Opponents of the bill argue the practice saves energy, which was one of its original intended purposes.
A Department of Energy report released in 2008 found that U.S. electricity use was decreased by 0.5 percent for each day of the extended DST, resulting in a savings of 0.03 percent for the year as a whole. Those savings amount to 1.3 billion kilowatt-hours, enough to power about 122,000 average U.S. homes for a year.
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