Griffo and Santabarbara continue efforts to make daylight saving time permanent

Joseph A. Griffo

March 11, 2022

As New Yorkers prepare to spring their clocks forward this Sunday in observance of daylight saving time, state Sen. Joseph Griffo, R-I-C-Rome, and Assemblyman Angelo Santabarbara, D-Rotterdam, continue to work 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. 

Sen. Griffo and Assemblyman Santabarbara previously introduced legislation (S3813/A6443) 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 his legislation, Sen. Griffo has been actively engaging legislators in neighboring states who have proposed legislation that would accomplish the same objective as Senate Bill 3813. So far, legislators in New Jersey and Pennsylvania have introduced legislation similar to Sen. Griffo’s, while Connecticut, Massachusetts and Vermont have not yet.  

According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 18 states 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. 

Sen. 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 others 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.” 

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. 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. It’s time to replace this antiquated system with one better suited for our modern times.” 

Sen. Griffo’s bill is in the Senate’s Judiciary Committee. Assemblyman Santabarbara’s bill has been referred to the Assembly’s Governmental Operations Committee.