By Jp Cortez
As inflation continues to terrorize the budgets of Americans and states alike, two Tennessee bills empowering the State Treasurer to invest state funds in physical gold and silver are moving quickly through the legislature.
House Bill 1479, introduced by Rep. Bud Hulsey, passed out of the House of Representatives on Monday with a 98-0 vote.
Senate Bill 519, the identical senate-side companion bill introduced by Sen. Frank Niceley, passed out of the Senate State and Local Government Committee today by a unanimous vote of 8-0.
The legislation defines “bullion” and “specie,” as well as explicitly stating that “subject to appropriation, the state treasurer may purchase and sell gold or precious metal bullion or specie that will be directly owned by the state, and in the custody of the state treasurer.”
Additionally, the twin bills would allow the state treasurer to “make and enter into contracts, trust instruments, agreements, and other instruments with a person to effectuate this section, including, but not limited to, financial institutions, accountants, auditors, attorneys, consultants, and other contractors.”
Lastly, the measure calls for “physical gold and precious metal purchased under these acts to be custodied by the state treasurer in a state depository, and maintained in a vault within the state depository’s banking facilities in accordance with accepted industry standards for secure storage, and within the geographical boundaries of Tennessee.”
States that help set up the infrastructure to protect state funds with the monetary metals will help further to bring gold and silver into use as an alternative to the inflationary paper-money system, as well as buttressing state funds, many of which are invested in risky paper assets.
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SB 519 has been placed on the senate floor calendar for a vote on final passage in the coming days.
Sen. Niceley and Rep. Hulsey are steadfast champions of sound money, earning each of them the 2022 Sound Money Legislator of the Year award last year for their tireless work on eliminating Tennessee’s state sales tax on gold and silver.
After ending the state sales tax on gold and silver, Tennessee shot up the 2023 Sound Money Index rankings to earn a 9th place finish. Tennessee also recently ended its state income tax on sale all capital assets, including gold and silver.
Several other states are considering their own sound money bills this month, including Alaska, Idaho, Maine, Missouri, Mississippi, South Carolina, Vermont, Iowa, Kentucky, Oregon, and more.
Jp Cortez is a graduate of Auburn University and a resident of Charlotte, North Carolina. He is the Policy Director of the Sound Money Defense League, an organization working to bring back gold and silver as America’s constitutional money. Follow him on Twitter @JpCortez27
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