With many New Yorkers still adjusting to their lost hour of sleep last weekend, Assemblyman Angelo Santabarbara and Sen. Joseph Griffo have introduced legislation that would make daylight savings permanent in the state of New York.
The bipartisan legislation would cement daylight saving time as the year-round standard time in New York, which in turn would repeal the federal Uniform Time Act that was enacted in 1966. It would take effect once Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Jersey and Pennsylvania pass similar legislation to maintain a regional uniformity.
“When clocks spring forward on Sunday morning, the consequences are more than simply losing an hour of sleep. Studies have shown that this transition has a negative effect on sleep, productivity, concentration, and general well-being,” said Santabarbara, D-Rotterdam. “While daylight saving time has been reported to save energy by having Americans turn on their lights later at night, studies have shown relatively little is actually saved during this period of time especially when we compare the costly effects on our health and the economy during this transition. “
Santabarbara said recent estimates show millions of dollars are lost each year due to drastic decreases in workplace productivity due to a reduction in sleep. The bill memo also notes that transition to daylight savings time leads to an increase in car accidents, causes more on-site work incidents, and disrupts the health of all who are subject to this time change.
“Fifteen other states have already enacted similar legislation, and it’s time for New York to follow suit. Making daylight saving time permanent would improve quality of life for New Yorkers and benefit our economy,” he said.
As a result of the 1966 Uniform Time Act, 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.
The bill (S.3813/A.6443), was introduced in the Senate on Jan. 31 and in the Assembly on March 17. Currently, there are no cosponsors.
“Time is up on changing our clocks twice a year,” said Griffo, R-Rome. “Research and studies have shown that continuing to move our clocks forward and backward each year can negatively affect the safety and wellbeing of the public and can hurt businesses and the economy.
“I appreciate Assemblyman Santabarbara sponsoring this bill in the Assembly and will continue to work with him and my partners in government throughout the Northeastern United States and Canada to bring about this needed and beneficial change.”
Currently, 15 states have already enacted legislation to make daylight saving time permanent, including Arkansas, Alabama, California, Delaware, Georgia, Idaho, Louisiana, Maine, Ohio, Oregon, South Carolina, Tennessee, Utah, Washington and Wyoming.