Daylight Savings Time will begin in 2006

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After some last-minute maneuvering, the Indiana General Assembly last week voted to implement Daylight Savings Time in Indiana.

The time switch will occur on the first Sunday in April, 2006. For the remainder of this year, the state will remain as it has been — with people talking about “slow time” and “fast time”.

The State Senate passed the measure, which was pushed hard by Governor Mitch Daniels, who believed that the switch was vital to helping increase business opportunities in the state.

But between the votes by the Senate and the House, the governor made some remarks concerning the state’s new two-year budget that offended some Democrats in the House.

Those House members retaliated by voting against the Daylight Savings Time measure when it came to the floor for a vote, and the final result saw 49 votes against and 48 votes for.

With 100 members of the House, because neither side of the issue got a majority of at least 51 votes, the matter was eligible to be brought back for another vote.

After some posturing and remarks from both sides of the aisle, enough lawmakers then changed their votes, giving Daylight Savings Time enough votes to pass.

It then went to the Governor’s desk, where it was signed into law.

One of the matters still high on the agenda of people around the state is the matter of what time zone the state is in.

Currently most of Indiana is in the Easter Time Zone; but the Southwest corner, where Evansville is; and the Northwest corner, where Gary is located; are in the Central Time Zone.

Governor Daniels initially favored putting the entire state in one time zone; but that set off a fire storm.

Because Gary and those other cities in “The Region” are closely aligned with Chicago; going into the Eastern Time Zone would have put that area one hour behind Chicago — which is in the Central Time Zone — all year long.

If the state was put into the Central Time Zone, then places like Switzerland County would have been an hour behind Cincinnati and Louisville all year long.

In the end, the governor opted not to address the time zone issue; but believes that the switch to Daylight Savings Time in 2006 will mean less “time confusion” for companies outside of the state who are interested in doing business with Hoosier companies.

The switch will also mean that Switzerland County’s “fame” will disappear.

For years state and national broadcasters have come to Switzerland County to discuss how citizens here cope with being on “slow time” and “fast time”. Just last week Switzerland County was featured as a part of an article in USA Today, and has also been in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, and the Good Morning, America television show broadcast live from Patriot.