BOSTON (CBS) — This Sunday, the end of daylight saving time means the sun will set at 4:33 p.m.–but a commission will vote Wednesday on whether or not Massachusetts will back out of daylight saving time and join an entirely different time zone.
The move would mean that, from November through February, Massachusetts would be one hour ahead of the Eastern time zone, and the practice of setting clocks forward and backward would be eliminated.
It also would bring complications in everything from transportation to finance to school start times to TV.
Those in support of the change, including commission chair State Senator Eileen Donoghue, say that moving to the Atlantic Time Zone would help attract young workers who might otherwise fear the long, dark New England winters.
“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,” Donoghue told CBS News’ Meg Oliver.
But last month, Donoghue’s commission released a report saying that the state should only make the move if other neighboring states join in. She told Oliver she worries about the Commonwealth making the move alone.
“Well, I think anything is possible, but it’s not what we recommend,” she said. “You know, Massachusetts is not a big state. People travel back and forth over borders for work, for shopping, and a lot of activities. And so, it would cause confusion if we went it alone.”
The commission studied the pros and cons of the move for months and found, for example, that retailers liked the idea of more daylight late in the day for shoppers, while educators objected because it would be dark when students head to school.
The change would affect some industries in a positive way. Massachusetts cranberry growers, whose harvest peaks in the Fall, will be up against an earlier sunset after Sunday. They say every hour of daylight is precious for them.
“You know, you’d have to quit that much sooner, you’d have to have everything picked up before the sun goes down,” said cranberry harvester Scott Harding.
But Dr. David Prerau, who authored a book about daylight saving time called “Seize The Daylight,” pointed out that we would see the effects of a time zone change in other unexpected places.
“Every live TV show in New England would be one hour later,” Prerau said. “So you would have the football games and the Academy Awards and things like that lasting deep into the morning.”
The move would put Massachusetts in the same time zone as the Canadian Maritime provinces, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and several other Caribbean and South American countries.