Senator Allen Paul (R-Richmond) has introduced SB 93 calling for a Daylight Saving Time referendum. As you may recall, Senator Paul was the critical vote in the Senate Rules committee that allowed SB 127 – the DST bill -, which had some procedural irregularities coming out of the House, to be considered by the Senate for the first time during the Conference Committee period of the session. His aye vote made for a 6 to 5 rules committee vote in favor of SB 127, but he ultimately voted against the bill on the floor of the Senate.
The April 27, 2005 edition of the Howey Political Report suggested that Senator Paul’s Daylight Saving Time stance is causing him some political problems in the form of a primary challenge this spring.
Sen. Paul tried to have it both ways. He was the crucial vote in a 6-5 showdown in the Senate Rules Committee that allowed daylight-saving time to escape to the Senate floor for a vote, finally passing 28-22 Wednesday evening. “My vote simply affords the governor the opportunity to publicly make his case to all senators, rather than a few,” Paul said. But he voted to vote against it Wednesday.
[Primary challenger, Richmond City Council President Bruce] Wissel has to be counting on Sen. Paulâ€™s Janus act to confuse voters.
Wissel is a supporter of Daylight Saving Time. Such considerations could be playing a part in Senator Paul’s introduction of SB 93 which puts the following question on the November 2006 ballot:
“Should all of Indiana observe daylight saving time? The vote on this question is advisory only. The result of the vote on this question is not binding on the General Assembly, the Governor, or any other public official.”
I’m generally supportive of public input on the DST question, and I’m open to being persuaded otherwise, but this strikes me as too little, too late. It’s too late because if they were going to consider public opinion on the question, the time to do it would have been before adopting DST. It’s too little because there is no consideration of time zones in that question. The two issues are inextricably linked. Personally, if we’re going to be on Central Time, I want to go ahead and observe Daylight Saving Time. If we’re going to be on Eastern Time, I want it to be Standard Time year round. It’s also too little because, if they’re going to do it, they should probably go ahead and bind themselves to the result.