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Some Massachusetts Residents Want State To Leave The Eastern Time Zone

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If you’re like many other humans on this planet, winter’s shorter days may get you feeling a bit down from lack of sunlight. But some folks in the state are on a mission to reclaim one hour of sunlight, with a campaign to get Massachusetts to leave the Eastern Time Zone.

One member of a Massachusetts state commission that’s currently looking at whether or not the state should move to the Atlantic Time Zone — and thus, opt out of Daylight Savings Time — said he started his quest when he moved from Washington, D.C., to Massachusetts.

“I knew I was moving north, but I had no idea how far I was moving east, and so you can imagine my horror when in December the sun was setting” at 4:11 p.m., he told NBC News.

If Massachusetts does move time zones, it would be an hour ahead of the rest of the East Coast for roughly four months each year.

In September, the state commission released a draft report [PDF] that found Massachusetts “could make a data-driven case for moving to the Atlantic Time Zone year-round.”

The commission’s report notes that year-round DST would positively impact consumer spending, which could help the state attract and retain more talented workers; would increase residents’ productivity and cut down on both the number and severity of on-the-job injuries; and improve public health in general.

A second draft will be voted on Nov. 1, and if approved could go on to lawmakers.

Massachusetts isn’t the only state to consider such a move, the commission notes: Four of the other five New England states have also looked into year-round DST. In Maine, a bill that would’ve prompted such a change in the state if Massachusetts and New Hampshire also participated was passed by both legislative chambers before it was laid aside.

Another bill in New Hampshire passed the House but was voted down in the Senate, while bills establishing year-round DST were also filed in the Connecticut and Rhode Island legislatures. Elsewhere in the country, legislators have introduced bills in Illinois, Michigan, Mississippi, New Mexico, and Wyoming.

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