Calif. could nix Daylight Saving; New England lawmakers mull leaving Eastern Time Zone

Published 10:28 am Friday, March 11, 2016

PROVIDENCE, R.I. — As most Americans brace themselves for losing an hour of sleep this weekend, some corners of the country are considering bold alternatives to daylight saving time.

California has a bill that would ask voters to abolish the practice of changing clocks twice a year. Lawmakers in Alaska and nearly a dozen other states are debating similar measures. Some lawmakers in New England want to go even further, seceding from the populous Eastern Time Zone and throwing their lot in with Nova Scotia and Puerto Rico.

“Once we spring forward, I don’t want to fall back,” said Rhode Island state Rep. Blake Filippi, who hopes the whole region will shift one hour eastward, into the Atlantic Time Zone. “Pretty much everyone I speak to would rather have it light in the evening than light first thing in the morning,” he said.

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Opponents of daylight saving time argue that traffic accidents, heart attacks and strokes increase when we change time, and that contrary to popular belief, it does not save electricity.

Shifting to Atlantic Time and never changing back would effectively make summertime daylight saving hours permanent, said Filippi, who made a public health case for his bill at a Rhode Island State House hearing this week.