Santabarbara and Griffo Push to Make Daylight Saving Time Permanent

As New Yorkers prepare to set their clocks back one hour this Sunday moving us back to standard time, Assemblyman Angelo Santabarbara and Senator Joseph Griffo are pushing to make daylight saving time permanent in New York. 

Daylight saving time was made permanent following the enactment of the federal Uniform Time Act in 1966. As a result, most Americans advance their clocks by an hour in the warmer months so that it gets dark later and move their clocks back an hour in the fall. All states except for Hawaii and Arizona, as well as several U.S. territories, follow daylight saving time. 

Assemblyman Santabarbara and Senator Griffo and previously introduced legislation (A6443/S3813) that establishes daylight saving time as the year-round standard time of the state and New York City. The change would be contingent upon a compact with neighboring states and the federal government passing legislation allowing states to adopt daylight saving time as the permanent standard measure of time. 

Since the introduction of the legislation, Assemblyman Santabarbara and Senator Griffo have been actively engaging legislators in neighboring states who have proposed legislation that would accomplish the same objective. So far, legislators in New Jersey and Pennsylvania have introduced similar legislation, while Connecticut, Massachusetts and Vermont have not yet.

According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 18 states (Alabama, Georgia, Minnesota, Mississippi, Montana, Idaho, Louisiana, Ohio, South Carolina, Utah, Wyoming, Delaware, Maine, Oregon, Tennessee, Washington and Florida) have enacted legislation or passed resolutions to provide for year-round daylight-saving time, if Congress were to allow such a change. Congress would have to act before states could adopt changes because federal law does not currently allow full-time daylight-saving time. 

Assemblyman Santabarbara said, “Americans have changed their clocks twice a year for more than a century, a practice that has proven to have negative impacts in our community,” Assemblyman Angelo Santabarbara said. “Studies have shown that moving clocks forward in the spring and back in the fall has a negative effect on sleep, productivity, concentration, and general well-being. Recent estimates show millions of dollars are lost each year due to decreases in workplace productivity during the transition. While daylight saving time has been reported to save energy, studies have shown very little is actually saved during this period of time.” Santabarbara added, “It’s time to replace this antiquated system with one better suited for our modern times.”

Senator Griffo said, “I believe that making daylight saving time permanent would be beneficial for New York and neighboring states, especially when you look at research indicating that such a change would lead to decreases in health issues and traffic accidents while also enhancing public safety and boosting the economy. There is active federal legislation to abolish Daylight Saving Time. I have continued to communicate, collaborate and coordinate with my legislative colleagues in other states regarding this issue and am optimistic that we will ultimately be successful in our efforts to establish daylight saving time as the year-round time in New York and Northeastern United States.”