SECTION 1. Chapter 4 of the General Laws is hereby further amended by striking out section 10, as appearing in the 2016 Official Edition, and inserting in place thereof the following section:-
Section 10. The standard time within the state shall be the time known and designated by the federal statute as “Atlantic Standard Time” and shall be exempted from the change to daylight savings time pursuant to the exemption provisions of the federal Uniform Time Act of 1966, 15 U.S.C. section 260(a). And in all laws, statutes, orders, decrees, rules and regulations relating to the time of performance of any act by any officer or department of the commonwealth, or of any county, city, town or district thereof, or relating to the time in which any rights shall accrue or determine, or within which any act shall or shall not be performed by any person subject to the jurisdiction of the commonwealth, and in all the public schools and in all institutions of the commonwealth, or of any county, city, town or district thereof, and in all contracts or choses in action made or to be performed in the commonwealth, it shall be understood and intended that the time shall be United States “Atlantic Standard Time” as changed by this section.
SECTION 2. Section 1 of this act shall take effect when the states of New Hampshire, Maine, and Rhode Island have enacted an agreement adopting “Atlantic Standard Time”.
SECTION 3. Within 90 days of the effective date of this act, the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education shall convene an educational task force to review the effect of school day start times for middle school and secondary school students. The task force shall: (i) conduct a comprehensive study including, but not limited to, the impact of school start times on student academic performance, school scheduling issues, scientific and academic findings relative to the sleep needs of adolescents; (ii) schedule and hold public hearings throughout the Commonwealth to ensure public input and comment; and (iii) make reasonable attempts at obtaining comments and suggestions from common stakeholders, that may include teachers, students, parents of students, and education policy makers. The task force shall file a report containing its findings and recommendations, including legislation necessary to carry out its recommendations, with the Joint Committee on Education not later than 12 months following the first meeting of the task force.
SECTION 4. Within 120 days of the effective date of this act, the governor of Massachusetts shall petition the United States Department of Transportation to include the state within the “Atlantic Standard Time” zone as provided for in the federal Uniform Time Act of 1966, 15 U.S.C. sections 260 to 267.
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