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Will Indiana observe Central Daylight Savings Time?

(4/29/2005 from - Good News, Hoosiers, you will be changing your clocks April 2, 2006. That is because your Indiana House Legislators finally approved daylight-light saving time after a 22-year battle late Thursday.

The narrow 51-46 vote happened just before midnight, with three House Republicans switching their votes.

"Every vote counts," said Rep. Jack Lutz, R-Anderson, as Rep. Troy Woodruff, R-Vincennes, cast the deciding vote.

Earlier Thursday, the House voted 49-48 against daylight time after the Indiana Senate passed the measure 28-22 on Wednesday. Gov. Mitch Daniels, who supported the time change, is expected to sign the bill.

Lutz, who had been a co-sponsor of daylight time for years, was sadden that House Democrats played politics with the bi-partisan issue that has been emotional and contentious for the last three decades.

"Some people in our caucus stepped up and approved good public policy that will move this state forward," said Lutz.

East Central Indiana House Republicans including Lutz, and Reps. Bill Davis of Portland, Tom Saunders of New Castle and Tim Harris of Marion supported daylight time.

House Democrats including Reps. Phil Pflum of Milton, Terri Austin of Anderson and Scott Reske of Pendleton. voted no. Rep. Tiny Adams, D-Muncie, who is recovering from a stroke, was absent and is a daylight supporter.

Davis lauded a handful of House Republicans that also included Reps. John Ulmer of Goshen and Jeff Thompson of Lizton who also switched votes to support daylight time.

"I don't think this will be a tough issue to sell," said Davis, whose eastern Indiana district opposes daylight time. "It will create jobs and economic development for the state."

Austin and Reske has switched earlier votes supporting daylight time to no votes on Thursday.

Republican lawmakers saw the switch as a power play by House Minority Speaker Pat Bauer of South Bend to stop Gov. Mitch Daniels from fulfilling his legislative agenda.

Austin denied politics was involved in her vote, saying the original measure took into consideration concerns from lawmakers representing counties near other time zones.

Bruce Munson, attorney for House Republican caucus, said he was baffled by the vote switching that ultimately passed daylight.

"I would have not bet a whole lot that it would have passed this session," said Munson, a former local lawmaker.

Munson did said Bauer lost his political muscle by losing the daylight vote, leaving Democrats little to bargain over the state budget and spending for public education.

The measure requires the Legislature and Daniels to ask the U.S. Department of Transportation to conduct hearings to determine whether Central and Eastern time zone boundaries will be located.

Seventy-seven counties in the Eastern time zone, including Marion and Muncie, have been on standard time since Indiana exempted itself from federal law in 1971. The effort to pass daylight time has failed in the Legislature over 20 times during the last 30 years.

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