Getting a late start on my Sunday bike ride, I got caught by the gathering dusk. Then I thought of California, where on that general subject, the majority of voters this month had the right idea.
The idea was expressed in Proposition 7, which proposed that California stay on daylight saving time all year round instead of continuing with the senseless changing of the clocks twice a year. In the Nov. 6 election, 60 percent of California voters said yes.
Now it’s up to the legislature in Sacramento to follow through and act on a bill to carry out the voters’ preference. That bill would have to be approved by two-thirds of both the Assembly and the state Senate. Then it would have to be signed by Gavin Newsom, the next governor. And finally, Congress would have to approve this departure from the general regime of standard time.
That’s a long and winding road, and the idea of year-long summer time may yet be derailed, especially after the politicians realize that come the winter solstice with daylight time in effect, it will be 8:30 before the sun comes up.
Still, with a strong popular mandate, there’s at least a chance that sooner or later, Californians can skip the time-change rigmarole. They could do so now if the legislature changed state law to stay on standard time all year, the way Hawaii and most of Arizona do. But no one wants to lose the hour of extra evening daylight that summer time allows.
If Proposition 7 is carried out in California, Oregon and Washington should follow suit. It makes sense for the three West Coast states to be on the same time.
Then, in Albany or anywhere else in Oregon, when you start some outdoor thing — like riding a bike without a proper headlight — in late November in the afternoon, you have a better chance of finishing before the street lights and headlamps come on. (hh)