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Could Mass. Change Time Zones? Not Unless Neighboring States Do, Too

BOSTON (CBS/AP) — A draft report says Massachusetts could benefit from a shift to the Atlantic Time Zone, but only if other New England states followed suit.

The report was released at the Statehouse on Wednesday by a special commission that has spent months studying the pros and cons of such a change. Moving from the Eastern to Atlantic time would effectively make Daylight Savings Time permanent, eliminating the practice of setting clocks forward and back twice a year.

While retailers like more daylight late in the day for shoppers and educators object to more darkness earlier in the day for students, the draft recommends Massachusetts never consider changing time zones unless most or all of its neighbors are doing the same.

Sen. Eileen Donoghue chairs the commission that has been hearing from retail groups, public officials, transportation officials, and others on the impact of the possible change.

"I would hope that we, together with the other New England states and with New York or other states that see fit, would stop turning our clocks back for no reason--but there's got to be a critical mass," Donoghue said.

The draft also recommends a later start time for schools so young children won't be going to school in the dark.

The commission will vote on a final version of the report in early November--after Massachusetts "falls back" to Eastern Standard Time.

(© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

WBZ NewsRadio 1030's Lana Jones reports

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