Tuesday, April 05, 2005

House Amends DST Bill

The Indy Star is reporting that several amendments were attached to the Daylight Savings Time bill in the House yesterday including two key items that could affect the future of the legislation. First, lawmakers amended the bill to allow individual counties to opt-out. Now, this could just be an extension of the "free Indiana/opt-out" culture causing dissent until now, or it could create even more of a county-by-county time zone havoc than we already have. (For those not in Indiana, we have 5 counties already not on the same time as the rest of the state.) Additionally, the bill was amended to begin next April instead of going into effect on June 5 of this year.

I could selfishly say that I don't really care what individual counties do as long as my county (Marion) adopts it -- and it will. But having a county opt-out program could hinder the Governor's economic development plan even further. It's also possible that the Federal government would not allow it. Although, I suppose it would answer opponents' questions about a direct economic impact of not observing the time change -- the first time an opt-out county gets passed over for a plant or new business in favor of an county that observes the time change could be an indicator. For those still not believing we've had an economic impact, I'm not sure how they've escaped hearing from airport officials who said we've lost several major hubs (not small like ATA, but big like Southwest in St. Louis and NW in Detriot) becuase our time change weirdness. (Lawmakers did helpfully provide a provision that road signs would alert travlers when they're entering a county with a new time zone.)

Either way, the bill is likely to be worked on in a conference committee with the Senate so changes may or may not be retained. It's still a partisan issue -- the Star is reporting all 48 Dems voted for the amendment. The bill will most likely be voted on today in the House. (And for more details on the legaltities, the second reading in the house and details on the amendment, see Doug Masson's legislative blog.)


At Tue Apr 05, 09:19:00 AM, Blogger Doug said...

Re: Economic impact. How is it that switching to Hoosier Standard Time is supposedly such a burden to foreign businesses that they won't locate in Indiana, but thousands of Indiana businesses can supposedly switch their business systems to Eastern Daylight Time by June 5 with negligible costs?

At Tue Apr 05, 10:54:00 AM, Anonymous braingirl said...

A one time cost is much better than a twice a year cost. Most of the businesses that switch systems already have some kind of protocol in place -- they have to do it twice a year as it is. A lot of it is a credibility issue. I know natives don't want to believe it, but Hoosiers look like idiots. They look like dumb hicks who are too stubborn to keep up with the rest of the world. It's ridiculous. I work nationally -- doing almost no business locally -- and it's a huge pain in the ass.

At Tue Apr 05, 12:32:00 PM, Blogger Doug said...

Personally, I think having a state-wide homosexual panic over whether gays can marry or have civil-union type benefits makes us look a lot more like hicks than whether we switch our clocks every 6 months. For example, the country of Japan doesn't switch clocks, and nobody calls them hicks. :)


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