Monday, April 04, 2005

Update on DST

SB127 – the current home of the bill repealing our state's opt-out of DST – passed the House policy committee 8-4 last week. It could be voted on in the Indiana House as early as tomorrow and is expected to pass. Even though Republicans will need a few votes from Democrats, it’s expected to pass the Senate as well. It all seems a bit anti-climactic after all the drama at the half-way point of the session.

Also, the Governor has received approval from the Federal government to implement the change on June 5 of this year, switching back to a regular schedule of October and April for the time change. The US Department of Transportation approved the change which doesn’t officially change the start date of the observation but in just allows the bill to take affect June 5 (late enough to miss the Indy 500.)

On time zones: A lot of people have asked me if this proposed time change would also change our time zone. It does not. The bill in the Indiana assembly only allows our state to observe Daylight Savings Time in the time zone we’re in – Eastern Standard Time. Time zones are a federal issue and the US Congress would have to pass a bill changing our time zone, if we, say, wanted to change to central time. As far as I know, there is no bill at this time in Congress proposing to change our time zone. (Plus, changing our zone to Central would defeat part of the purpose of changing to DST, the extra hour of sun in the summer evenings.)

Daniels office has said that it will request the US Department of Transportation to hold hearings to determine which time zone Hoosiers really want, but this will take place at a later date.

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