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Massachusetts in the Atlantic Time Zone? Commission mulls major change

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There’s a catch, though

liran finzi sokolovski/Shutterstock

A commission is studying the possibility of having Massachusetts join the Atlantic Time Zone, putting it permanently an hour ahead of its current Eastern slot.

That would mean later sunsets in the colder months, and would put the state on a zonal par with the likes of Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, and Bermuda rather than the rest of the eastern United States.

The 11-member commission submitted a draft report on the move in September, and will vote on a final one on November 1. If that gets a green-light, the recommendation will go to lawmakers—who may or may not pursue the move.

It would be allowed under federal law, but the commission does recommend one big thing before the leap into the Atlantic: Most of New England would have to join Massachusetts in the shift—maybe New York, too, to avoid disruptions to financial markets.

Still, as advocates of the shift point out, Massachusetts is pretty much in the Atlantic Time Zone a good bit of the year anyway because of daylight savings (a.k.a. spring forward).