POLL: Should Daylight Saving Time end? Massachusetts is leading the charge to do away with turning back the clock

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We turn our clocks back on Sunday when Daylight Saving Time ends. But in Massachusetts, some are hoping this will be its last time.

On Wednesday, a commission will vote on whether the state should quit Daylight Saving and join the Atlantic time zone instead.

The move would put it one hour ahead of the Eastern time zone from November through February.

Massachusetts’ cranberry harvest peaks in the fall and every hour of daylight is precious to a grower. Scott Harding is one of many growers dependent on daylight to get the job done. “You have to quit that much sooner, you have to have everything picked up before the sun goes down,” Harding said.

This Sunday, the first day marking the end of Daylight Saving, the sun will set in Massachusetts at 4:33pm, but those long winter nights could one day be a thing of the past.

A report issued by a commission of state lawmakers found that by moving “…to the Atlantic time zone…” shorter winter nights would “…Increase the state’s competitiveness in attracting and retaining a talented workforce.”

Why change now?

Massachusetts State Senator Eileen Donoghue is the commission chair. "We love to attract millennials, and they love to come here and work. But one thing we do hear from millennials is they don't like the weather and they don't like it when it is dark."

Doctor David Prerau is the author of a book about Daylight Saving called "Seize the Daylight." He says changing time zones would have a negative impact on everything from transportation to finance to entertainment.

"Every live TV show in New England would be one hour later," explained Prerau. "So you would have the football games and the Academy Awards and things like that lasting deep into the morning."

Could Massachusetts do this alone? Senator Donoghue believes that "...anything is possible, but it's not what we recommend."

Donoghue wants New York and other New England states to follow suit, but many worry that bringing more daylight to the evening brings more darkness to the morning, increasing risks for school children walking to school.

The commission says they will delay school start times to fix that.

Here's some background information about Daylight Saving Time, a system to reduce electricity usage by extending daylight hours.

Facts:

  • Sunday, November 5, 2017 - Daylight Saving Time ends at 2 am. Set clocks back one hour.
  • Sunday, March 11, 2018 - Daylight Saving Time begins at 2 am. Set clocks ahead one hour.
  • It is "Daylight Saving Time" (singular), not "Daylight Savings Time" (plural).
  • Beginning in 2007, Daylight Saving Time starts in the United States on the second Sunday in March and ends on the first Sunday in November.
  • Timeline: 1784 - The idea of daylight saving is first conceived by Benjamin Franklin.
  • 1914-1918 - Britain goes on DLS during World War I.
  • March 19, 1918 - The Standard Time Act establishes time zones and daylight saving. Daylight saving is repealed in 1919, but continues to be recognized in certain areas of the United States.
  • 1945-1966 - There is no federal law regarding Daylight Saving Time.
  • 1966 - The Uniform Time Act of 1966 establishes the system of uniform Daylight Saving Time throughout the United States. The dates are the last Sunday in April to the last Sunday in October. States can exempt themselves from participation.
  • 1974-1975 - Congress extends DLS in order to save energy during the energy crisis.
  • 1986-2006 - Daylight Saving Time begins on the first Sunday in April and ends on the last Sunday in October.
  • August 8, 2005 - President George W. Bush signs the Energy Policy Act of 2005 into law. Part of the act will extend Daylight Saving Time starting in 2007, from the second Sunday in March to the first Sunday in November.
  • 2007 - Under the new laws, all of Indiana now observes Daylight Saving Time, where only certain areas of the state did before.
  • Exceptions in the United States: In the United States, Hawaii and most of Arizona do not follow DLS.
  • The US territories of Guam, Puerto Rico, Virgin Islands and American Samoa also do not observe DLS.
  • What countries follow Daylight Saving Time? About 70 countries around the world observe DLS.
  • Many countries near the equator do not adjust their clocks for daylight saving.
  • Neither China nor Japan observe DLS.
  • Some countries refer to "Daylight Saving Time" as "Summer Time."