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In a bid to enhance currency competition and challenge the Federal Reserve’s monopoly on money, bills have been introduced in the Florida House and Senate. Representatives Doug Bankson and Chip LaMarca filed House Bill 697 (H697) on December 4, while Senator Ana Rodriguez introduced a companion bill, Senate Bill 750 (S750), on December 6. The proposed legislation aims to recognize “specie legal tender” as money within the state, marking a significant move toward empowering Floridians in the realm of sound money.
Specie legal tender, as defined in the bills, encompasses “specie coin issued by the Federal Government at any time” and any other specie designated by the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) as legal tender, in accordance with the monetary authority not prohibited in Section 10, Article I of the United States Constitution. Under the proposed law, specie legal tender could be acknowledged for settling private debts, taxes, and fees imposed by the state or local government.
One key provision in the legislation grants the CFO the authority to designate additional specie as legal tender. This move could liberate Florida from potential constraints tied to the use of only U.S.-minted gold and silver coins, providing flexibility and autonomy to the state’s monetary landscape.
The bills also pave the way for online and electronic transactions involving gold and silver. Electronic currency is defined as “a representation of actual gold and silver, specie, and bullion held in a depository account, which may be transferred by electronic instruction.” In practical terms, this allows Floridians to use gold or silver in both physical and electronic forms as money, putting these precious metals on par with Federal Reserve notes.
If enacted into law, Florida would join a select group of states recognizing gold and silver as legal tender. Utah led the way in 2011, where the legal tender law facilitated the development of a gold and silver market. The Utah Specie Legal Tender Act also spawned the creation of Goldbacks, a local, voluntary medium of exchange, representing dollar-denominated notes made from physical gold. This forward-thinking legislation reflects a broader trend among states seeking to diversify their monetary options and promote a more robust and decentralized financial ecosystem.
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