Should Massachusetts Change Time Zones?

From Florida to Alaska, the time might be up for daylight-saving time.

Via Arian Campo-Flores’s Wall Street Journal Weekend Edition piece yesterday :

Daylight-Saving Time Gets Old

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Fed up with the annual routine of moving clocks ahead in spring and back in fall, a Florida lawmaker is pushing a bill that would make daylight-saving time full-time in the state.

“I’m so over the time change,” said Democratic state Rep. Kristin Jacobs. “Everyone I know is grumbling about the same thing.”

Her measure, dubbed the Sunshine Protection Act, and filed ahead of the legislative session that starts next week, reads in part: “As the ‘Sunshine State,’ Florida should be kept sunny year-round.”

Other states are rebelling, too. From Alaska to Alabama, 21 states have weighed proposals in the past year to tinker with the time, according to the Time Zone Report, a website that tracks such legislation. While some measures are aimed at making daylight-saving time permanent, others seek to abolish it.

Massachusetts is sort of looking to do both. But first, this helpful chart:


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From WCVB: “[Quincy resident Tom Emswiler] wants to shift Massachusetts into Atlantic Time — the same as Nova Scotia — during the period of the year that is now Eastern Standard Time. The shift would put Massachusetts an hour ahead of its bordering states for about four months each year. It also means clocks would not be set ahead when Daylight Savings Time begins each year.”

So, DST all year round.

Barbara Mende adds a different wrinkle at WBUR’s Cognoscenti:

It gets dark here earlier than anywhere in the time zone. The sun sets a full 50 minutes earlier in Boston than in Washington, D.C. But, at present, federal law says we’re stuck with Standard Time . . .

Once on Atlantic Time, we could opt out of DST if we didn’t want a difference in the spring and summer. Such requests need only be approved by the Department of Transportation.

So were does this stand? Just here, according to Time Zone Report:

Massachusetts – 2016
Status Summary

One bill in the Massachusetts legislature during the 2015 session which we believe to still be active:

S 2040 was filed 9/21/2015 by Senator John Keenan, at the request of a constituent, to study the impact to the state of moving from Eastern Time to Atlantic Time.

Legislation Intent

This bill has no direct time change impact, but rather would commission a study of what the impact would be. Ostensibly, if the impact was marginal or positive, the governor would be asked by the legislature (typically in the form of a resolution) to request the US Department of Transportation to consider the time zone change.

Such as change would have the same effect as moving to Year-Round DST, but in a “legal way”.

Links to Legislation

Massachusetts State Legislature

S 2040

Time will tell, eh?

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