Maine Considers Atlantic Standard Time
Maine is ready to change to Atlantic Standard Time (AST) as long as voters approve and neighboring states follow.
The Maine Senate just passed a bill supporting the shift to Atlantic Standard Time (AST). However, the bill also requires a public vote on the issue and with the condition that Massachusetts and New Hampshire also decide to make the switch.
No Daylight Saving Time
The proposed shift to permanent AST would remove the yearly Daylight Saving Time (DST) clock changes, and move sunrise and sunset one hour later in the day all year.
Currently, Maine is on Eastern Daylight Time (EDT) with a UTC offset of UTC-4. During standard time the state observes Eastern Standard Time (EST) with an offset of UTC-5.
A Possible New England Move
The Maine bill surfaced after Massachusetts decided in 2016 to study the effects of abolishing yearly clock changes and permanently moving the state from Eastern Standard Time (EST) to Atlantic Standard Time (AST).
The study has inspired lawmakers in the New England states of New Hampshire and Connecticut to propose similar bills. Also, Rhode Island has proposed to move to AST on the condition that Massachusetts makes the same move.
Two States without DST
Currently, Hawaii and most of Arizona are the only two US states that do not use DST.
The US dependencies American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico, the Northern Marina Islands, the US Minor Outlying Islands, and the US Virgin Islands do not observe DST either.
DST Rules in the US
DST in the USA starts on the second Sunday in March and ends on the first Sunday in November. The current schedule was introduced in 2007 and follows the Energy Policy Act of 2005.
According to section 110 of the Act, the US Department of Transportation (DOT) governs the use of DST. The law does not affect the rights of the states and territories that choose not to observe DST.