Time zone debate renewed at statehouse

Advocates want Indiana to move to the Central time zone.
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There's renewed debate brewing in Indiana over time zones. Some Hoosiers want the state to switch to Central time.

Petitioners at the Indiana Statehouse say they aren't out to turn back the hands of the clock. They accept Daylight Saving Time, but want something else.

"By our geographical location, we are most definitely in the Central time zone," said Jim Disney, Central Time Coalition.

Disney and the coalition want to make that time zone change happen.

When lawmakers pushed Daylight Saving Time in 2005, advocates said Indiana belonged in the Eastern Time Zone, because business flowed east from Indiana. But six years later, Central time advocates say Eastern time is hurting us - literally.

"Those kids start school at 7:30. They were at bus stops at 6:45, an hour-and-a-half before the sun rose," Disney said.

Advocates for the change say that exposes students to crime at dark bus stops. Two-hour winter school delays cost taxpayers $59 million a year, they say. If schools started in daylight, the sun would have more time to help work on roads, cutting delays.

"With Indianapolis trying to position itself as a logistics hub, we really need to have our clocks set to the center of the nation, not one of the coasts," said Andy Ray, a manufacturer's representative.

"A lot of my work is on the east coast. East lines up better time wise for me," said Dennis Keyes, who is for staying in the Eastern time zone.

Expert's like UIndy professor Matt Will agree. Indiana's ties to New York are stronger than to Chicago. But Central time zone advocates will take it back to the legislature this year.

Efforts to move to the Central time zone failed in the last statehouse session, when the plan died in committee.

Hoosiers for Central Time