The Republican-controlled Virginia House of Delegates on Monday advanced legislation that could lead to the establishment of a state-issued currency.
Lawmakers passed the bill by a 65-32 vote, setting up the possibility of a clash with Gov. Bob McDonnell (R), who has questioned the need for the legislation, The Washington Post reports. The legislation, which is being pushed by state delegate Bob Marshall (R-Manassas), would have the state set up a group to study the creation of a metallic based currency. Establishment of the currency would allow for the state to move back to the use of the gold standard.
Marshall, a former U.S. Senate candidate, has argued the state needs a currency in case of a collapse of the dollar or other problems with the Federal Reserve, The Washington Post reports. The legislation now moves on to the state Senate, where both parties are tied 20-20 with Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling (R) casting the tie-breaking vote. Democrats have indicated opposition.
“Are we seriously going to spend taxpayer resources studying a replacement to the world’s backbone currency? Are we descending into la-la land?” state delegate Mark D. Sickles (D-Fairfax) told The Washington Post.
The Virginia move comes as state legislators around the country consider outside-the-box measures to return the country to the gold standard. Late last year, Montana state Rep. Jerry O'Neil (R-Columbia Falls) sought to have his state salary paid in either gold or silver coins. O'Neil told The Huffington Post at the time, that concerns over the stability of the dollar caused him to make the request from state payroll officials. The request was denied by the state.
In 2011, eight states introduced legislation to create the gold standard at the state level. Returning the country to the gold standard was a key part of Paul's presidential campaign platform.