Massachusetts Could Leave the Eastern Time Zone, Jump an Hour Ahead - NBC 6 South Florida
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Massachusetts Could Leave the Eastern Time Zone, Jump an Hour Ahead

In a region where winter darkness comes early, an extra hour of sunlight could be a boon for the economy

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    NEWSLETTERS

    No Time Change, No Problem?

    Would changing the answer to “What time is it?” make life better? Sue's guest is public health advocate Tom Emswiler, who serves on the legislative commission studying Atlantic Standard Time.

    (Published Wednesday, Oct. 25, 2017)

    Six years ago, when Tom Emswiler moved from Washington, D.C., to Massachusetts, he saw something that shook him to his core: The sun went down at 4:11 p.m.

    As NBC News reported, Emswiler, a 37-year-old public health advocate, is now one of 11 members of a state commission studying whether Massachusetts should leave the Eastern Time Zone and join the Atlantic Time Zone. In a region where winter darkness comes early, an extra hour of sunlight could be a boon for the economy and a godsend for public health, according to supporters of the shift.

    The state "could make a data-driven case for moving to the Atlantic Time Zone year-round," the commission said in a draft report released in September. A second draft will be put up for a final vote on Nov. 1, and the issue could then go to lawmakers, according to a spokesman for Eileen Donoghue, a Democratic state senator who chairs the panel.

    "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" in the mid-afternoon, Emswiler told NBC News on Wednesday.