Looks like the Daniels administration is getting into some Clintonian level parsing with respect to the Daylight Saving Time law. From the Indy Star:
The time of his life
The fourth and final hearing the U.S. Department of Transportation is holding on Indiana’s time zones will be Monday night in South Bend, and it’s expected to be a doozy.
St. Joseph County, which includes South Bend, has asked to move to Central time to be in sync with its western neighbors. Other neighbors, though, are apoplectic. Officials and residents in Elkhart County, to the east, and Marshall County, to the south, are deeply concerned that their economic region will be split.
Even Gov. Mitch Daniels, who earlier said that time zones were something for each county to decide on its own, has called the situation “obviously unworkable.”
Daniels has said he will send a letter stating his views to the Transportation Department after the hearings are concluded, although a provision in the state’s daylight-saving time law seems to require the state to support local government officials no matter what they decide.
The provision says: “The state supports the county executive of any county that seeks to change the time zone in which the county is located under the procedures established by federal law.”
So would the governor be violating the law? It depends on what the meaning of “supports” is, said Jane Jankowski, Daniels’ press secretary. She said the governor’s office construes that as meaning he must support the process — not the individual decisions.
And we get down on Indiana’s students for doing poorly on the ISTEP tests. With that kind of reading comprehension, the fine folks at the Governor’s office would fail miserably.
The law again: “The state supports the county executive of any county that seeks to change the time zone in which the county is located under the procedures established by federal law.”
One sentence. Pretty easy as laws go. Sometimes laws are hard to read. This one isn’t. Let’s parse:
Who does the state support?
The county executive.
Which county executive?
The county executive of any county that seeks (1) to change the time zone in which the county is located; and (2) under the procedures established by federal law.
Did the St. Joseph County Commissioners seek to change the time zone in which it is located?
Did the Commissioners do this under the procedures established by federal law?
Is the State required to support the Commissioners?
Is the Governor part of the State?
Is the Governor required to support the St. Joseph County Commissioners in their efforts to change time zones?
Try again Ms. Jankowski.
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