Griffo continues push to make daylight saving time permanent in New York State

Joseph A. Griffo

November 05, 2021

With daylight saving time ending Sunday, state Sen. Joseph Griffo, R-I-C-Rome, continues to advocate for legislation he has sponsored that would eliminate the need to switch clocks back and forth each year in New York.

Sen. Griffo’s legislation (S3813) establishes daylight saving time as the year-round standard time of the state and the city of New York. The bill 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. 

Sen. Griffo has been reaching out to fellow legislators in states bordering New York to solicit their interest in introducing similar bills in their respective legislatures.  

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. 

While federal law does not currently allow for full-time daylight saving time, it could if Congress decides to take action. Over the last four years, 19 states (Alabama, Georgia, Minnesota, Mississippi, Montana, Idaho, Louisiana, Ohio, South Carolina, Utah, Wyoming, Arkansas, Delaware, Maine, Oregon, Tennessee, Washington, California and Florida) have enacted legislation or passed resolutions to provide for year-round daylight saving time if Congress were to allow such a change, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. In some cases, surrounding states have enacted the same legislation. 

Research and studies have indicated that moving clocks forward one hour in the spring and back in the fall can have significant consequences on the health, safety and wellbeing of the public. Observing daylight saving time year-round can reduce energy consumption, lead to reductions in crime and traffic accidents and increased economic activity, which helps businesses and the economy. 

“I am continuing my efforts to make daylight saving time permanent in New York and the Northeastern United States because I believe that doing so will be beneficial to our communities, state and geographic region,” Sen. Griffo said. “Studies and research has shown that permanent daylight saving time can decrease health concerns, enhance public safety, cut down on traffic-related accidents and provide a needed boost for local and state economies. It just makes sense to not have to change our clocks twice a year.” 

Sen. Griffo’s bill is in the Senate’s Judiciary Committee. A companion bill (A6443) has been sponsored by state Assemblyman Angelo Santabarbara, D-Rotterdam. That bill has been referred to the Assembly’s Governmental Operations Committee.