Vern

Over the weekend, I was thinking about writing my Thursday column about daylight saving time.

But Bill Warford, who writes three splendid columns a week, scooped me on Sunday, as he often does. He wrote, “I seem to loath daylight saving time more with each

passing year.”

Americans have been following the federal Uniform Time Act of 1966, resetting their many clocks and watches twice a

year to conform.

But California voters took action last fall, approving a ballot proposition for year-round daylight saving time by a wide margin.  

But the change isn’t permanent yet. Two things are required before Californians can do away with daylight saving time altogether: a bill to pass the state Legislature and obtain federal authorization and to obtain it through a majority vote in Congress.

That means the concept will probably become a political football, bouncing all around in the end zone.

Kansen Chu, a California Democrat lawmaker is sponsoring a bill to keep the state permanently on daylight saving time.

The 1966 federal law allows states to opt out of daylight saving and Hawaii, Arizona and Puerto Rico do so, staying with standard time

all year round.

Strangely, the law does not allow states to choose only daylight saving time.

The Los Angeles Times Editorial Board decided to come out in favor of daylight saving time as the sole solution, but only if the change was nationwide.

But farmers complain that they can’t go to work an hour early because they need the sunlight to see what they’re doing. Dairy farmers have a hard time, explaining the

change to the cows.

I know from my childhood experiences in Idaho, that cows don’t take orders easily and will thrust a leg into the bucket if they object to human

rule changes.

In the past, I have worried that daylight time year-round would cause some Antelope Valley school children to have to wait in the dark

for school buses.

I’m for children getting an extra hour of sleep, if that can be arranged.

Cities like New York and Pittsburgh long ago passed their own daylight saving time laws and it was brought back nationally for a little while during World War II.

Laws among cities and states got so messed up that in Iowa there were 23 different daylight saving dates, depending on what town you were in. In 1966, President Lyndon B. Johnson finally smoothed it out, making daylight saving time the

law of the land.

But the law may change. The national policy of switching from standard time to daylight saving time and back again is under legislative challenge from coast to coast.

Multiple initiatives in Congress and in statehouses would terminate our current system of time toggling — a system that started more than a century ago and has been controversial

ever since.

The debate is about whether changing the time is inherently a bad idea, because of sleep disruption, negative health effects and general confusion generated by a jumpy time system or whether we need to favor the evening over the morning when trying to deliver our sunlight — not just during spring and summer and early fall but throughout the year.

I will close by paraphrasing my favorite line from Shakespeare:

“The time is out of joint, oh cursed spite that all Americans were born to set it right.”

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