N.Y. State Legislators Decide to Make No Change in Sunday Closing Law

New York State Government leaders were reported today to have decided against any action in the current legislative session in the field of changing the state’s Sunday-closing laws.

Jewish leaders in the state had been optimistic that the Legislature this year would act to allow Orthodox Jews, Seventh-Day Adventists and others who do not engage in business activities on Saturday to keep their shops open on Sunday.

The last time the legislators acted on the controversial issue was in 1958 when the Assembly voted down a bill to permit Sunday store hours in New York City. This year, Jewish organizations, such as the American Jewish Congress, were hopeful of passage of a measure permitting municipalities to each decide how to handle the issue in their areas. The measure was backed by Assembly Speaker Joseph F. Carlino.

Background of the legislative reluctance is a sharp conflict between sponsors of such legislation and church groups, particularly Roman Catholics. Gov. Rockefeller referred to this clash when he said at a news conference that his support would depend on the settlement of the issue by religious leaders.

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