INDIANAPOLIS (WTHR) - Indiana's decision a decade ago to observe Daylight Saving Time continues to be a controversial one - and now lawmakers in other states are starting to question if Daylight Saving Time is really in everyone's best interests.
A state senator in Florida filed a bill this year that would move that state onto standard time year-round. A lawmaker in Texas did the same. A state representative in South Carolina wants to put the question to voters on the November 2018 ballot.
Massachusetts and Maine are taking it a step further. Not only do they want to drop Daylight Saving Time, they also want to jump ahead an hour year-round by moving from Eastern Time to Atlantic Time. Both states - and New England as a whole - have been working to attract more millennials, but leaders tell the Wall Street Journal that millennials consistently complain about how early it gets dark there during the winter months. Officials hope the time zone switch would help solve that problem.
Currently, Arizona and Hawaii are the only states in the nation that don't observe Daylight Saving Time.
Indiana has a long, complicated and emotion-filled history with Daylight Saving Time. Under state law, most of Indiana ignored it from the early 1970s until the spring of 2005. During that period:
- 77 counties were in Eastern Time with New York but never changed their clocks, which meant their clocks matched Chicago in Central Time during Daylight Saving Time
- 5 were on Eastern Time but unofficially observed Daylight Saving Time, which meant they stayed with New York year-round
- 10 were on Central Time and officially observed Daylight Saving Time, which meant they stayed with Chicago year-round
Then-Gov. Mitch Daniels pushed the move for the entire state to officially observe Daylight Saving Time, saying it would end confusion and promote commerce. Lawmakers passed the measure by a single vote in an emotional debate.
At the time, 18 counties asked the U.S. Department of Transportation to put them in the Central Time Zone to be aligned with Chicago year-round. Eight of the counties were granted permission but the other 10 were left in Eastern Time with New York, leaving 18 total Indiana counties on Central Time and 74 on Eastern.