Governor Daniels is now officially in violation of Ind. Code 1-1-8.1-3 which states:
Sec. 3. 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.
The St. Joseph County Board of Commissioners is seeking, under the procedures established by federal law, to change the time zone in which St. Joseph County is located. That means the state has to support them in their efforts, right? Well, apparently only if you’re of the opinion that Governor Daniels is obliged to obey the law.
Governor Daniels has submitted a letter to the U.S. Dept. of Transportation opposing the St. Joseph County Commissioners’ efforts to change time zones. In other words, he is doing exactly the opposite of what the law requires him to do.
The pertinent part of his letter to the USDOT is:
I recommend the Department decline the petition of St. Joseph County to move from the Eastern to the Central Zone.
Nevermind that he makes bogus statements about the “clear preference” of Hoosiers generally to remain in the Eastern Zone and of Elkhart County residents specifically. The statements are bogus because no mechanism has been made available to most Hoosiers to express their preference. In fact, the Republican leadership has made clear its opposition to a referendum that would put this “clear preference” to the test. Nevermind that he continues his recent insistence that time zones are a “local matter.” Nevermind that he forgets his campaign preference for statewide Central Time. Nevermind that he sat on his hands until the eleventh hour before offering an opinion to the public and to the USDOT.
Forget all that stuff for now. He is breaking the law. The Daylight Saving Time bill added a section to the Indiana Code that specifically required the state to support a county executive’s efforts to switch time zones. Instead of supporting the St. Joseph County Commissioners, as the law requires, Mitch Daniels is opposing their efforts. My apologies for all of the bolds and italics, but this is simply outrageous. He wasn’t ignorant of that provision of the law. His spokesperson was recently asked about it, and offered up an explanation of that provision with which only an illiterate could agree, alleging that the provision required support only of the process not the county executive seeking to change time zones. He wasn’t required to offer his opinion to the USDOT. He could have remained silent and presumably not run afoul of the law. Instead, he went out of his way to violate IC 1-1-8.1-3. Just outrageous. If I were the St. Joseph County Commissioners, I’d be headed to court to seek an injunction of the whole Daylight Saving Time law, delaying its implementation until such time as the Governor corrects his violation or the legislature repealsIC 1-1-8.1-3.