The Lafayette Journal & Courier has a story on the end of the legislative session. Unfortunately, it starts with an error:
The Indiana General Assembly ends its session April 29, and lawmakers at the Statehouse are concentrating their efforts on one last push to pass their favored bills.
State law requires that the elected representatives do only one thing this year: pass a budget that plans spending for the next two years.
There is actually no specific requirement that the General Assembly pass a budget. It’s a darn good idea that they do so, and legislators are frequently quoted saying that the only thing they’re required to do is pass a budget. But, The Indiana Law Blog has had some pretty good examination of the question over the past few months, and despite legislators’ impression to the contrary, there is no mandate that they pass a budget.
The rest of the article is well done though. It mentions that a lot of important issues loom such as funding for education and medicaid, but the real hot-button issue seems to be daylight saving time. It’s an easily understood bill that is almost purely emotional — there isn’t a lot of logic behind preferring one system to the other. On the one hand, doing what the rest of the country does, simply because the rest of the country does it has some advantages. Proponents have loudly proclaimed the economic and business advantages of being on DST. But, despite the proclamations, there doesn’t seem to be a lot data supporting this proposition. For the most part from what I’ve heard, it seems like business leaders get teased by their colleagues in other states, and that has as much to do with it as the cost of revamping business systems. (After all, if this passes, thousands of Indiana businesses will have to revamp their systems, and the legislature doesn’t seem to be giving that expense, which they would be mandating, a second thought.)
On the other hand, staying on Hoosier Standard Time doesn’t necessarily have a lot of logical reasons recommending it. Geographically, we seem to be a little too far west for Eastern Daylight Time and a little too far east for Central Standard Time. So, Eastern Standard Time probably is the best fit. But, truthfully, an hour one way or the other for 6 months out of the year doesn’t make a great deal of difference. Primarily, there is a feeling that leaving well enough alone is good sense. And, there is Hoosier pride. Telling a Hoosier that they ought to do what everyone else is doing, just because everyone else is doing it, is going to get their hackles up. Hoosiers are a prideful bunch and telling them to switch to DST is like telling them you are ashamed of where you are from and prefer the other states to Indiana.
In any event, I’m going to get back to my vacation, where, honestly, I don’t care what time it is anywhere. I’ll get up when I wake up, go to the beach when it’s warm, eat when I’m hungry, and generally ignore my watch.