Maine Gov. Paul LePage, testifies during a House Natural Resources subcommittee oversight hearing on the Antiquities Act on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, May 2, 2017. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

A proposal that would put Maine and perhaps much of New England into a new time zone is crazy, Gov. Paul LePage said in a radio interview aired Friday.

LePage said the bill would leave Maine “out of sync with the rest of the Eastern Seaboard.”

“It’s an insane thought” to shift the state into the Atlantic Standard Time zone shared with Canada’s maritime provinces, the governor said during an interview with Auburn radio station Z105.5’s Breakfast Club.

“The person who proposed that we ought to call for a therapy session. This is crazy,” LePage said.

The bill has already passed both the House and Senate, but with slightly different wording. The Senate added a provision calling for a public referendum on the idea. It won’t go to the governor unless each adopts the same language.

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One of those pushing the measure is Sen. Eric Brakey, R-Auburn, who called it “a very moderate proposal.”

“If this legislation passes, absolutely nothing changes unless both our immediate neighbors — New Hampshire and Massachusetts — themselves decide to eliminate Daylights Savings Time, as they are currently considering,” he said.

“If New Hampshire and Massachusetts were to make this change and Maine did not act, we would be out-of-step and isolated from our neighbors, placing the people of Maine at an economic disadvantage,” Brakey said.

Another sponsor of the proposal, Rep. Kathleen Dillingham, R-Oxford, said LePage is “free to have his own opinion on all pieces of legislation proposed by the Legislature and its members.”

“Due to the nature of his office as governor, he oftentimes has the ability to view how application of proposed legislation may or may not be beneficial to the citizens of Maine,” she said.

Though “at times, that viewpoint may be at odds with the Legislature,” Dillingham said, “that is fine. We are different branches of government.”

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She said she didn’t take offense at his words.

The proposal,  approved 85-59 by the House recently and endorsed by the Senate on a voice vote, would move Maine away from changing its clocks twice a year and simply keep its summer hours year round in the Atlantic Standard Time zone, shared by Puerto Rico and parts of Canada.

As it is, the easternmost portions of Maine see a wintertime sunset before 4 p.m. The change would move that back an hour permanently.

“I roll my eyes at it,” LePage told radio host Matt Boutwell. “I mean we have real issues in this country. Real issues are anger issues with much of our population and we’re talking about Daylight Savings Time and Atlantic Time?”


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