No 'time' for bickering

Legislature passes bill, but there's more to do for state

POSTED AT 12:00 AM ON Apr. 14, 2005 


Next April, Hoosiers will hopefully join the residents of the other 47 continental states that observe daylight-saving time. If that happens, as it should, national and international businesses are more likely to extend a welcoming economic hand to the needing arms of local willing and able bodies. Daylight-saving time is an overdue and welcomed tool to help Indiana recover from its hard times.

Companies wishing to expand their market to or from the Hoosier heartland will no longer have to shake their heads in utter confusion, asking, "What time is it in Indiana?" After all, no corporate executive wants to be convinced that researching the actual time in some nook of the state is a reasonable or efficient use of their hours.

For decades, partisanship and silliness have kept DST from invading Indiana. Just because it's a campaign plank from the governor's platform doesn't mean it's a bad idea.

However, the uncertainty of Indiana's economic future calls for legislative thinking inside and outside the mainstream box.

State legislators who voted for and continue to support daylight-saving time in Indiana are helping propel the Hoosier heartland forward.

State legislators who voted against and continue to oppose daylight-saving time are choking Indiana off from the business breath needed for a successful economic recovery. Senate Bill 127 does not only benefit Gov. Mitch Daniels. Approving state recognition of daylight-saving time benefits all of Indiana and challenges the "backward" reputation of the Hoosier heartland. It's an obvious step to improve our economy.

Of course, motherly advice says, "pick and choose your battles."

Indiana should not stop at daylight-saving time if legislators are truly concerned with improving the economic landscape and reversing steady unemployment and impoverished resident rates. Thinking outside the mainstream box, Hoosier representatives should squelch the partisan squabbling to think about other policies that affect economic activity.

The state's money woes aren't one-sided, so the solutions shouldn't be either.

The battle about daylight-saving time in the Indiana Statehouse demonstrates one attitude of some Hoosier representatives: to give companies the impression Hoosiers are unwilling to change their perceptions, beliefs, and habits -- even to save themselves. That's no kind of economic recovery strategy.

Other policies, such as the same-sex marriage ban amendment and the IndyWorks bill, affect the economy too, but have been debated in a partisan context. Legislators are more concerned with their political futures and those of their opponents than with the present business of the people.

In the meantime, the entire Hoosier heartland continues to struggle with economic uncertainty and budgetary deficits.

The most important consideration of all these economic policies is, "What will make doing business in Indiana more attractive and more fair?" This session, lawmakers in both parties have gotten distracted from their jobs. They must ask themselves what laws will benefit the entire state most.


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