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Later winter sunsets? One lawmaker wants to make it happen.

ALBANY – Wouldn’t it be nice to drive home from work Monday evening with the sun not setting in Buffalo until 5:56 p.m., an hour later than it will fall from view in a couple of days from now?

On paper, it sure would, and State Sen. James Skoufis, an Orange County Democrat, has an idea: move the entire state of New York to the Atlantic standard time zone. That’s the area that stretches from (parts) of Labrador, down to Bermuda, to Puerto Rico and other Caribbean islands and into big parts of South America – even the Falklands during the summer.

In what was the first bill formally filed in the new year, Skoufis offered up the time altering idea in Senate bill No. 7080. It would change standard time in New York from the 75th meridian of longitude west from Greenwich to the 60th meridian. It’s stated purpose would be “later sunsets in the winter," which the senator says would reduce “car accidents, health complications and other damaging consequences."

Before you can make plans for an after-work sunset in the winter, take note: The idea would have to be approved by New York and then the federal government. And, to mostly avoid time zone headaches in the New York City area, Connecticut, New Jersey and Pennsylvania would have to sign onto the idea.

And that 5:56 p.m. sunset Monday? As with most things time-related, there’s an inevitable hook: It would mean the sun wouldn’t rise in Buffalo Monday until 8:46 a.m.

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