On Thursday, HB1637, the Missouri Sound Money Act passed the House, making Missouri one of two states with a sound money still alive in 2012. South Carolina is the other, and is scheduled to vote on their bill next week. The bill simply adds gold and silver as legal tender alongside Federal Reserve notes, giving the citizens of Missouri a choice in currency:
“The Missouri Sound Money Act of 2012 is established which changes the laws regarding legal tender as follows: (1) Specifies that gold and silver issued by the federal government is legal tender in Missouri;”
It was not smooth sailing in the Show Me State. A significant number of representatives attended a press conference at the Governor’s mansion when the morning vote was held. Thus, the opposition erupted in celebration when they unexpectedly defeated the bill by a single vote, after which the morning session was immediately adjourned.
All was not lost. Representative Paul Curtman, the bill’s sponsor, worked a strategy to have the bill reconsidered in the afternoon session. While highly unusual, House Majority Leader Tim Jones asked Democratic Imperial Representative Tim Meadows to reconsider the bill in the afternoon session in light of the fact many members who were absent in the morning would likely return. Meadows agreed, and in the afternoon session the bill passed 95-37.
“Credibility is everything and when it comes down to it, my credibility is on the line here this day” Meadows said.
Representative Curtman had the understatement of the day stating, “It was a strange day on the floor. In the end though, nobody had a viable argument as to why it should be defeated.” A strange day indeed. After the bill’s passage, a Democratic Representative who strongly opposed the motion to reconsider had to be physically removed from the House chamber as he confronted a fellow Democrat who aided in allowing the bill a second vote.
It was a bitter pill for the opposition to swallow. Jackson County Democratic Representative Mike Talboy showed how badly misunderstood the sound money legislation is, lamenting, “It’s embarrassing…. that we were actually having the debate over putting us back on the gold standard.”
Fact is, the “gold standard” has never been implemented in this nation, so there is no “going back” to it.
It’s the score at the end of the game that counts. By a count of 95-37, sound money is alive in Missouri. Now Republican Senator Chuck Purgason is expected to shepherd the bill through the Senate Ways and Means committee. With only four weeks left in the general session, it will be interesting to see if more drama is in store, or if the Senate understands the issue and will pass it quickly. Even then, it must be signed by Democrat Governor Jay Nixon, who when informed of the bill’s existence earlier in the year took a “no position” stance.
Stay tuned. It is unlikely the drama in Missouri is over.
If you live in Missouri and support Constitutional, Sound Money – contact your Senator and tell them to support this bill. Firmly, but politely, press them to vote YES – both in Committee and in the Senate as a whole.
1. CLICK HERE for Missouri State Senator Contact Information
2. CLICK HERE for members of the Ways and Means Committee
CLICK HERE – model legislation for use in your own state, the Constitutional Tender Act
CLICK HERE – to track the progress of similar legislation around the country