New York City

Daylight saving time sucks, pols say. Should New York kill it?

You'll gain an hour of sleep this Sunday. But is it worth it?

November 1, 2019 Mary Frost
A New York Assemblymember has introduced a bill to end daylight saving time in New York. AP file photo by Charlie Riedel
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This Sunday morning, most people in the U.S. will be setting their clocks back an hour at 2 a.m. in a useless ritual that has modern America asking WTF?

No one is sure why we still subject ourselves to this disruptive time-shifting. Established more than 100 years ago, daylight saving time was designed to reduce energy consumption and add more daylight hours.

Actual science, however, has found the energy-saving claim to be bogus. Even worse, medical studies says screwing with the clock twice a year not only messes up sleep schedules, but it can affect heart rhythms, spike car crashes and lower test results.

Assemblymember Angelo Morinello, a Republican from Niagara Falls, is sponsoring a bill that would put an end to daylight saving time forever in New York State.

“Studies show more accidents, heart incidents and work-related injuries” on the Monday following the annual loss of an hour of sleep, Morinello told the Brooklyn Eagle on Friday. “When you disrupt that sleep rhythm it throws everything off.”

About the claim that resetting the clock creates more daylight hours, he said, “There’s an old Native American saying: The only one who believes that cutting a foot off the top of a blanket and sewing it to the bottom makes it longer is a fool.”

His colleagues chuckled about his bill when he first introduced it, he said, but they’re starting to take it more seriously after hearing about the medical studies. “It’s getting some traction,” he said.

“One of my colleagues [State Sen. Jim Seward] has proposed a bill to at least study the effects of the state opting out of daylight saving time,” he added.

Morinello’s bill, introduced in March 2018, has been referred to committee. If it isn’t passed during the second year of the Assembly’s two-year cycle, he intends to reintroduce it, he said.

Hawaii and most of Arizona have opted to stay on Standard Time the whole year. Legislation in other states is also being proposed. The Florida legislature passed a bill in 2018 that would allow Florida to stay in daylight saving time. That option requires federal approval, however.

This issue could be something that brings America back together again. Morinello, a Republican, is working with Queens Democrat Clyde Vanel on a related bill establishing a daylight saving time task force.

“The majority of the public would just prefer we stay on Standard Time,” Morinello said.

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  1. Janet Gottlieb

    Early risers, including but not limited to those who exercise in the morning, are delighted when “Daylight Savings Time” is over, but others would prefer to have that extra hour of light in the afternoon, 12 months a year.