PADUCAH, Ky. (News First) – By now you have probably heard about Kentucky State Representative Steven Doan’s, (R-Erlanger) bill to permanently change time in Kentucky to standard time year-round. Rep. Doan’s reasoning, according to published reports, seems to be a noble one. He is quoted talking about the medical repercussions observed with constantly changing the time twice a year on a permanent placement for the last 80 or so years in America.

Rep. Doan even mentioned a New England Journal of Medicine study that showed that there is a 40% increase in heart attacks around the time shifts as his primary reason for wanting Kentucky to stay on the same time year round. While these are certainly noble reasons for wanting to provide this change, you may not realize exactly how much change you would be in for if this bill becomes law.

First there is the question of why standard time and not permanent Daylight Saving Time year round. Rep. Doan also mentioned this in news interviews as well. Current Federal law only allows states the right to choose from observing Daylight Saving Time or not observing it…meaning year round standard time, so his bill reflects that option to observe only standard time, which is the only option that would allow Kentucky to stay on one time year round. The U.S. Senate passed a permanent observation of year round Daylight Saving Time last year, but the U.S. House did not, so the states are stuck with just the two options of either standard time or letting time change each Spring and Fall.

Below are just some of the impacts the time change would have on not only all Kentuckians, but millions of residents from surrounding states as a result, if this bill becomes law:

Integration: Many of Kentucky’s economic hubs are located in locations that are along its border with other states, drawing part of those hubs’ workforces from those neighboring states. This means a direct impact for out of state residents that work within Kentucky’s boundaries for employment, but only eight months out of the year, since Kentucky would only observe standard time year-round. Or, Kentuckians that cross into other neighboring states for their employment would be on different times. There are also some other issues.

Fort Campbell is a military base that spans both Kentucky and Tennessee. This would split the time inside the boundaries of the base, and in some instances literally within the same buildings, since some buildings are built partially in both states across the state line. If the base were to somehow have its own authority within its boundaries to institute its own interpretation of time (we have yet to find a law or regulation that would allow it to do so), the thousands of military members that either live outside the base in either Kentucky or Tennessee would be impacted by being in a different time than the base itself one way or the other, but only eight months out of the year. There is no avoiding a confusing headache in one side of the state boundary or the other for Fort Campbell and its military men and women.

Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport is actually located in Kentucky, not Ohio. This would mean the airport would be in a different time zone eight months out of the year than most of the more than 2.2 million population metro area it serves. One could easily assume Rep. Doan would have to be familiar with this situation, since Erlanger is only a 12-minute drive from the airport entrance. This would be a large confusion for flight departures and arrivals across the board, especially since the time would only be different eight months out of the year and be the same the other four months each year.

Broadcast markets are another issue, along with confusion of severe weather warning expiration times. Of the nine broadcast markets spanning across Kentucky, only two are solely within the Commonwealth: Bowling Green and Lexington. The rest are either split with neighboring states or originate from neighboring states. In western Kentucky, for example, only one of the traditional TV networks (ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox) are within Kentucky. The other three are in either Missouri or Illinois. If you like watching the evening news, you would need to get used to your 10 pm news being on at 9 pm for eight months out of the year, and then back at 10 pm the other four months. The same would be the case for all your broadcast TV shows.

To put it more bluntly, the portions of Kentucky that are normally in the eastern time zone, would slip into the central time zone for eight months out of the year, and the western part of the Commonwealth that is normally in the central time zone would slip into the mountain time zone and be on the same time as Denver Colorado for eight months out of the year. Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Seattle and other western cities would only be an hour earlier than Paducah…but only 8 months out of the year. Louisville and St Louis would share the same time for eight months each year. But Nashville and St. Louis would both be an hour ahead of Paducah. Confused yet? Driving to Carbondale, Cape Girardeau, Evansville or Memphis from Paducah? You will need to add an extra hour in your mind for 8 months, because they will be an hour ahead for that amount of each year. Instead, Louisville and Lexington will be in the same time zone as those cities, instead of Paducah which shares a TV market with two of those cities. Trying to catch a flight? You will need to add an additional hour in your mind to be on time for your flight in Nashville or St. Louis. Meanwhile flight times from Paducah to Charlotte, NC out of Paducah’s Barkley Airport would be a two hour time zone difference for 8 months out of the year.

Severe weather warnings. The National Weather Service Office in Paducah, is also responsible for warnings in portions of Missouri, Illinois, and Indiana. There are many instances where severe weather crosses over state boundaries into neighboring states. Broadcasters and the weather service employees alike could have a difficult time clearly relaying time expirations to a confused population since neighboring states would still be shifting back and forth throughout the year, but Kentucky would not. This is not unique to only Paducah’s forecast office. Other forecast offices covering the rest of the Commonwealth would have the same situation to face.

But aren’t there other states that stay on the same time year-round already? Yes. Hawaii and Arizona. Being out in the middle of the Pacific, Hawaii really has no issue beating to its own drum when it comes to time for the most part, aside from tv programming. There are no states they could be integrated with or share a border with. This leads us to the only possible living example of what dealing with only one time on the clock throughout the year would look like… Arizona.

When comparing Kentucky to Arizona, it almost looks like apples to oranges in many ways. Geographically, Kentucky is broken up into 120 counties, while Arizona only has 15. Kentucky borders with seven other states, while Arizona borders with five states and Mexico.

The vast majority of Arizona’s counties are within either the Phoenix or Tuscan TV markets, leaving no confusion as far as broadcast options. While there are dust storms and other weather anomalies in Arizona, it has nowhere near the type of severe weather that Kentucky and the rest of the upper South and Midwest have year-round. As we mentioned earlier in this story, while not all of them are, the majority of Kentucky’s economic hubs are along its border with other states, aside from a few. Meanwhile, only one smaller economic hub is located along Arizona’s border, Yuma (population of just over 95,000), that could sort of show us what it would be like. We say sort of because Yuma is mostly surrounded by the international border with Mexico which really limits economic hub abilities with a neighboring country to most degrees, with very few if any residents crossing the border for employment, and if so, not a seamless drive across a bridge at highway speeds. The northern edge of Yuma is on the border with California where we find Winterhaven on the California side with a population of 390 people. The rest seems to be open desert with a lot of sand.

So there really isn’t a good, living example of how to model this change for Kentucky. This would leave Kentucky largely as an experiment on what type of impact a decision to change the time would have on things like the state economy, integration with other states and their population that relies on Kentucky for their livelihoods, along with many other aspects of daily life.

There’s one more thing to keep in mind. In Paducah for example, if Kentucky were to revert to standard time year-round, you might want to prepare for around a 4:30 am sunrise throughout much of the summer months and sunsets at around 7 to 7:30 pm.