Does Indianapolis, Indiana Observe Daylight Savings Time?

Daylight saving time is a twice-yearly event that many Americans are familiar with. Every year, on the second Sunday in March, clocks are set one hour ahead, and on the first Sunday in November, they are set back one hour. This year, Hoosiers residents rejoiced over an extra hour of sun after work, regretted losing an hour of sleep, and parents around the world feared disruption to their children's schedule. But this could be one of the last times Americans are faced with so much confusion.

On Tuesday, the Senate voted unanimously to pass the Sun Protection Act, which would make daylight saving time permanent starting next year. For the people of Indianapolis, Indiana, this means that the time they jump to would be the rest of the year, one hour earlier than what is currently known as standard time. If adopted, people would no longer have to change their watches twice a year. Winter mornings would be darker, but afternoons would have more daylight hours. It is famous that Indiana is divided into two time zones: most of the state is in the Eastern Time Zone, but several counties near Gary and Evansville remain in the central time zone. This commitment was the result of legislation signed by President Richard Nixon in 1972, which placed most of Indiana in Eastern Time, except for the Northwest and Southwest counties, although they observed daylight saving and fall time.

Several counties in eastern Indiana (Ohio and Dearborn Counties, near Cincinnati; and Floyd, Clark and Harrison Counties, near Louisville) chose to unofficially observe daylight saving time, despite Indiana law. Supporters of daylight saving time and a common time zone in Indiana often assert that Indiana must adopt the Eastern United States timing system to preserve interstate business with that region. But in 1985, the Indiana General Assembly passed Senate Concurrent Resolution 6 of 1985, calling on the USDOT to move five southwestern Indiana counties (Posey, Vanderburgh, Warrick, Spencer and Gibson) from the central time zone to the eastern time zone. Daylight saving time detractors say that scientific studies evaluating the impact of the shift in hourly policy to daylight saving time in Indiana have identified a significant increase in energy use and electricity spending by Indiana households. Debate in the city led to a law being passed to place all of Indiana on central standard time and ban daylight saving time. This marked Indiana's 16th year of changing clocks twice a year - and possibly one of the last. Indiana enacted this statute officially placing northwest and southwest Indiana in the central time zone and observing daylight saving time while the rest of the state remained on Eastern Standard Time throughout the year.

Rickie Koning
Rickie Koning

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