The Arizona House of Representatives on Monday approved a bill making gold and silver legal tender, a growing trend as state lawmakers have become increasingly wary of the Federal Reserve’s never-ending, easy-money policies.
“This is the type of currency we have had over the history of mankind,” said Republican state Rep. Steve Smith of the legislation.
The bill makes it so that gold and silver are treated no differently than the U.S. dollar. The law also states that as legal tender, gold and silver would not be subject to tax or regulation as property.
“Senate Bill 1439 would let people use the precious metals as money as long as businesses agree to take them. If made law, it would take effect in 2014,” the Associated Press notes, adding that the metals would not have a set monetary value.
The state Senate first approved the measure in February. However, the Republican-controlled House amended the bill so as to exempt the state Department of Revenue from having to accept gold as legal payment.
“State officials want no part in the bill because they are wary of how it would work in practice,” the Associated Press notes, citing Republican Rep. David Livingston, who crafted the exemption. “But Livingston said the state’s reluctance to participate in the measure is not indicative of larger problems with the bill.”
“They wanted to make sure they wouldn’t be required to take gold and silver,” said Rep. Livingston. “They just didn’t want to have to deal with it right now.”
The bill now heads back to the state Senate for final approval.
Arizona isn’t the only state to push legislation that would declare privately minted gold and silver coins legal tender.
“Arizona is one of more than a dozen states to incorporate similar laws into their roster,” the Daily Mail notes. “Lawmakers in Minnesota, North Carolina, Idaho, South Carolina, Colorado and other states have debated similar laws in recent years.”
Utah in 2011 became the first state to pass a law recognizing gold and silver as legal tender.
“The measure reflects a growing distrust of government-backed money amid the declining value of the dollar. Many investors have invested their money in precious metals in recent years, and the value of gold and silver is on the rise,” the AP notes.
“Democrats oppose the measure. They say it would be a bureaucratic nightmare because businesses don’t have the equipment to determine the value of gold and silver,” the report notes.
“This should be addressed by the Federal Reserve and not by the state,” said Democratic Rep. Rosanna Gabaldon during a debate on the bill.
Here’s the full text of Senate Bill 1439:
It also follows the recent trend of “Bitcoins” — a digital currency gaining popularity as of late — as an increasing amount of people seem to be hedging on the American dollar. You can read up on TheBlaze’s coverage of Bitcoins here.
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