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Should Massachusetts Change Time Zones? Lawmakers Weigh Bill

HOLYOKE (CBS) -- The end of Daylight Saving Time is an unwelcome event for many, plunging the evening commute into darkness for months.

But what if Massachusetts left the Eastern Time Zone? That question was set to be considered by lawmakers Tuesday at a hearing at Holyoke Community College.

A proposed bill would study the "practical, economic, fiscal and health related impacts of changing the Massachusetts time zone from the Eastern Time Zone to the Atlantic Time Zone."

Joining the Atlantic Time Zone, which is used by eastern Canada and parts of South America, would be the equivalent of staying in Daylight Saving Time all year long.

Time zones
(WBZ-TV graphic)

The man behind the idea is Tom Emswiler, a Quincy man who wrote about the time zone problem in The Boston Globe last year.

As WBZ-TV chief meteorologist Eric Fisher explained at the time, the sun sets in the Boston area earlier than in other locations in the enormous Eastern Time Zone.

"The point I'm trying to get across is that New England lies so much farther east that we really are in a different part of the country," Emswiler said.

If the bill is passed, a committee of lawmakers would study the potential change and report back with their findings in 2017.

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