As Senate Chair of the Economic Development and Emerging Technologies Committee, I helped to pass major economic development legislation last year that established, among other things, a special commission on the Commonwealth’s Time Zone. Initially spurred by a citizen’s petition, the commission has engaged in a 10-month discourse with experts in in fields of economic development, public health and safety, crime, transportation, broadcast media, and others.
This commission, which I chaired, issued a final report of findings and recommendations for the Legislature’s consideration today.
Based on a research-driven analysis of what such a change would mean for those who live and work in Massachusetts, the commission recommended that Massachusetts could make a data-driven case for moving to the Atlantic Time Zone (effectively observing year-round daylight saving time), contingent upon:
- Regional action. A change should only occur if a majority of other Northeast states (possibly including New York) also do so.
- Later school start-times. Any move should be accompanied by statewide standards for delaying school start-times to mitigate safety issues and improve student academic performance, health and well-being.
- Public awareness. Any change must be accompanied by public awareness initiatives about transitions to and from daylight saving time.