In an unexpected move, the California State Senate has pivoted 180 degrees on its position regarding the future of Daylight Saving Time.

This month, the Senate approved legislation that could lead to California adopting DST year-round. In 2016, the state Legislature held hearings on Assembly Bill 807, which Assemblymember Kansen Chu (D-San José) authored. This bill authorized state voters to rescind DST in favor of permanent Standard Time.

However, the Legislature has changed course. The amended version of AB 807 authorizes a statewide referendum on the permanency of DST. If state voters approve the change, the Legislature would have to seek federal legislation to approve the full-time application of DST.

California voters approved the observance of DST through the initiative process. Consequently, the Legislature has no way to change California’s DST law except via referendum. And federal law does not allow states to establish year-round DST, which is the reason federal legislation would have to approve the clock change.

Chu’s staff members say this allows greater public and legislative dialogue on the state’s future time settings.