Western Indiana residents haven't messed with the time for more than 35 years.

And most Hoosiers would say, "If it isn't broken, don't mess with it."

But that changes in the spring when most in Indiana will advance their clocks an hour and observe Eastern Daylight Time.

Most of the state has remained on Eastern Standard Time year-round except for the counties near Cincinnati and Louisville that observe Eastern Daylight Time and the areas around Chicago and Evansville that observe Central Time.

The Indiana legislature approved the observance of Eastern Daylight Time beginning in 2006, and it has been the talk of the state ever since.

Whether it was the county commissioners' meetings or the local coffee shop, the time issue became the topic of many discussions.

While state Rep. F. Dale Grubb, D-Covington, would like to see the time ruling overturned, he doesn't expect it to happen when the legislature meets next month.

"The speaker of the House said he is not going to let any time bills on the floor," Grubb said.

Those who favored the change "paid a high price, and it could cost them more if they reversed it," Grubb added.

Some would like to see the issue put to a referendum vote, but Grubb expects that to be stalled, too.

"It would be nonbinding, but it would tell what the people want," he said.

Several counties, including Vermillion, petitioned the United States Department of Transportation to switch from Eastern to Central time. Most were rejected. Five counties in the northern and southern parts of the state will make the change.

"We were turned down," Vermillion County Auditor Sherry Koma said. "We will stay on the same (Eastern) time."

Originally, Fountain County asked to be split between Eastern and Central times, but later withdrew the petition, opting to remain on Eastern.

Warren County chose to remain on Eastern, as well.

The time situation disrupts families, Grubb said.

"It is such an inconvenience," he said. Many western Indiana residents work in Danville or have relatives across the border.

Grubb said elections in 2006 will come just after the time change, and he expects voters to remember that.

The primary election in May will be right after going on Eastern Daylight Time, while the fall election in November is a few days after reverting back to Eastern Standard Time.

"Some politicians act like they know what is best for their constituents," Grubb said. "I would rather ask for the constituents' opinions."

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