Alaska considers ending daylight saving

An Alaskan senator wants the state to end daylight saving time and move to Pacific time.

Proposed legislation would include moving to Pacific time

Daylight saving time is simply a fact of life for many people in North America, but an Alaskan legislator wants to stop the practice. 

Senator Anna MacKinnon has put forward a bill to stop the clocks from springing forward every March.

Her primary concern is based on studies showing some adverse health risks to switching on and off daylight saving time, says legislative aide Erin Shine.

A 1996 study in the New England Journal of Medicine documented an eight per cent rise in road accidents on the Monday after the clocks go forward. 

MacKinnon's proposal has been met with a mixed reaction across the state. Some economists say that eliminating daylight savings time would move Alaska five hours behind the major financial markets in the east for much of the year, making it more difficult to do business.

To counter that, MacKinnon has introduced an amendment to the bill to move some or all of the state to Pacific time.

Individual states have the power to opt out of daylight saving time, but a change in time zones must go through the U.S. Department of Transportation.

Alaska has gone through the process before. Prior to 1983, Alaska had four time zones and consolidated them into two. Now most of the state is on Alaska time with communities in parts of the far west on Hawaii-Aleutian time.

MacKinnon's legislation has already passed the Senate and is now being heard by committees in the House of Representatives. It's not clear when, or even if the bill will go to a vote in the House. 

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