PHOENIX (Reuters) – The Arizona Senate on Tuesday approved a measure to make gold and silver legal currency in the state, in a response to what backers said was a lack of confidence in the international monetary system.
The legislation cleared the Republican-controlled Senate by an 18-10 vote after being approved by the state House earlier this month. It now goes to Republican Governor Jan Brewer, who has not indicated if she will sign it into law or veto it.
The bill calls for Arizona to make gold and silver coins and bullion legal tender beginning in mid-2014, joining existing U.S. currency issued by the federal government.
If signed into law, Arizona would become the second state in the nation to establish these precious metals as legal tender. Utah approved such legislation in 2011.
More than a dozen states have considered similar legislation in recent years, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
The use of gold and silver as currency would be strictly voluntary, with businesses left free to accept the precious metals as payment for goods and services as they choose.
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