The Arizona House of Representatives approved a bill on Monday allowing residents to use gold and silver legal tender beginning in 2014.
The Associated Press reported on Monday that, according to Senate Bill 1439 (PDF), people would be allowed to use minted tender at businesses that agreed to take them, but that it would not have a set monetary value.
The Republican-dominated House passed the bill in a 36-22 vote that broke down along party lines. The state Senate, which is also controlled by Republicans, also approved the bill in February 2013 by a 17-11 margin, but must now review it following a House amendment exempting the state Department of Revenue from being covered under the measure.
"They wanted to make sure they wouldn't be required to take gold and silver," said state Rep. David Livingston (R) of the department. "They just didn't want to have to deal with it right now."
Livingston, a financial advisor by trade, said his clients "have been buying gold and silver like crazy."
If the amended bill is approved by state senators, Arizona would become the second state in the U.S. to accept gold and silver as tender in 2014, joining Utah, which passed a similar measure in 2011. The push to make gold and silver legal tender was also championed on the national level by former Republican Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX), who has said it would break up the "monopoly" held by the Federal Reserve. The 2012 GOP national platform also included a proposal "considering the feasibility" of a return to the gold standard.
But state Democrats continue to be leery of the idea.
"I've not yet had a constituent ask me to promote that bill," state Rep. Debbie McCuen (D) told KJZZ-FM. "What in the world is that about?"
["Gold prospector" via Shutterstock]
[h/t The Daily Mail]