Economic Development

It's About Time

Indiana may--finally--buy into daylight savings.
January 2005
 

For folks who don't live in Indiana--and even for many who do--it's tough to stay on top of what time it is there. The majority of the state doesn't observe daylight-savings time, but the intra-state divisions--15 counties make the daylight-savings switch while 77 don't--create a state of confusion.

Numerous attempts have been made to bring Indiana up to speed with its neighbors and unify the time system, but none has yet succeeded. Now the movement has a new champion in recently elected Governor Mitch Daniels.

Daniels argues that it's an economic development issue, that existing businesses are hampered by the time confusion and that new industries would be more interested in coming if the state were in clock lockstep. In particular, he sees opportunities for expansions of airport hubs and of logistics and computer-related industries.

The state's chamber of commerce is in sync with Daniels' call for change, pointing to missed meetings and flights and botched phone calls as problems caused for businesses in the state. "We're out of step with the rest of the country," says Ellen Whitt, a spokesperson for the governor.

Those opposed to the new timing range from residents who don't want to reset a multitude of clocks twice a year to agricultural interests that benefit from the regularity of the current schedule. In the past, every effort to change the state's time system has been turned aside but, with the momentum from Daniels' win and some new faces in the legislature, supporters are looking to this year as their best hope for success.

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