A Massachusetts Commission is examining whether the state should switch to Atlantic Standard Time, which would keep the state an hour ahead for good. New England sits along the Eastern Standard Time Zone, and as a result, many experience the sun setting around 5pm.
Better utilization of sun time is believed to aid health and economy, according to a study drafted by the Massachusetts Commission.
The commission, composed of 11 members, stated that Massachusetts has the opportunity to “make a data-driven case for moving to the Atlantic Time Zone year round.” They also recognize that the odds are against them, regardless of the data involved, in helping influence the change.
Federal law allows states to withdraw from day lights savings time, and does not allow states to adopt daylight savings time permanently. The commission’s solution for the law is to permanently switch to Atlantic Standard Time; which would have the same impact.
To all this, the commission also recommends that the switch not be made without most New England states joining in the change.
Paul Frost, a Republican state representative who is also part of the commission, believes that New York would also have to join the change, citing possible negative impacts to financial markets. The commission has not publicly stated any concerns regarding possible negative impacts, between Massachusetts and the rest of the east coast, on a switch to Atlantic Time.
Donna Bailey, a Democratic state representative in Maine is a support of shifting to Atlantic Standard Time, when the clocks are at Eastern Standard Time, the sun sets in many parts of Maine before 4:00 PM.
She currently has a bill that would create a ballot questions in Maine if New Hampshire and Massachusetts shifted to Atlantic Time. New Hampshire also has a bill that would be promoted to make a shift if Massachusetts did the same.