State senator wants time to stop springing and falling with permanent daylight saving time

Julie Abbass, Watertown Daily Times, N.Y.
·3 min read

Mar. 14—LOWVILLE — Today marks that day every March when moving forward means losing: daylight saving time. You may be feeling like it's only 7 a.m. on a Sunday so you've got another hour to sleep, but according to this particular arrangement of time, 7 a.m. is already 8 a.m. and it's time to get up. Sorry about that hour lost.

For many years, state legislators have debated the possibility of making daylight saving time permanent — no more "Fall-ing" or "Spring-ing" mnemonic devices to figure out which way to change the clock or plan a good night's sleep.

Sen. Joseph A. Griffo, R-Rome, has reiterated his support for legislation he introduced last year to keep daylight saving time as, simply, the time. Under the plan, there would be no "falling back" every November.

"Time is up on changing our clocks twice a year," Sen. Griffo said in a statement. "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."

Under the senator's bill, making this happen requires interstate and potentially international coordination along with an act of Congress.

"The effective date ... (of the law) is contingent upon the enactment of similar legislation in the neighboring states of Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Vermont," the senator's statement reads.

While Sen. Griffo indicated on his S3813 legislation that he has been in contact with officials in those states to measure the level of interest in introducing similar bills, he has also gone further afield to contact governing officials in nearby Canadian provinces "who have expressed a willingness to consider making daylight saving time permanent," the release said.

There are currently 15 states — Arkansas, Alabama, California, Delaware, Georgia, Idaho, Louisiana, Maine, Ohio, Oregon, South Carolina, Tennessee, Utah, Washington and Wyoming — that have already passed legislation making Daylight Saving Time permanent, although the laws haven't taken effect because federal law currently prohibits such a change.

"The U.S. had Daylight Saving Time as early as 1918, with the current federal policy — the Uniform Time Act — being enacted in 1966, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures," Sen. Griffo's bill states.

There are a number of bills in Congress to repeal the section of the 1966 law and some that include making either Daylight Saving or Standard Time permanent.

Sen. Griffo's bill acknowledges there is active federal legislation to abolish daylight saving time so that all states would operate on standard time. But he states that "studies show that it is the transition out of daylight saving time, which 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," making getting rid of the "standard" and keeping the "savings" the better choice.

Assemblyman Angelo Santabarbara, a Democrat from Rotterdam, plans to introduce this bill in the state Assembly.