HB541 (2017) Detail

Relative to the compensation of members of the general court.










AN ACT relative to the compensation of members of the general court.


SPONSORS: Rep. Marple, Merr. 24


COMMITTEE: Legislative Administration






This bill requires that legislators be paid compensation in silver dollar coins.  The state treasurer is directed to acquire sufficient silver dollar coins for such compensation.


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Explanation: Matter added to current law appears in bold italics.

Matter removed from current law appears [in brackets and struckthrough.]

Matter which is either (a) all new or (b) repealed and reenacted appears in regular type.






In the Year of Our Lord Two Thousand Seventeen


AN ACT relative to the compensation of members of the general court.


Be it Enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court convened:


1  Findings.  The general court finds that when Part II, Article 15 of the New Hampshire constitution was ratified the only dollar used as a medium of exchange was the Spanish milled dollar which contained one troy ounce of silver.  For the next several years after ratification each of the elected legislators received 200 troy ounces of silver as their compensation under Part II, Article 15.  Upon the establishment of the U.S. Mint in 1792, one troy ounce of silver was minted into one dollar silver coins, therefor strict adherence to the constitutional mandate in Part II, Article 15 requires that each legislator be paid 200 troy ounces of silver for his or her compensation for the term.

2  New Section; State Treasurer.  Amend RSA 6 by inserting after section 9 the following new section:

6:9-a  Legislator Compensation.  

I.  The state treasurer is hereby directed to requisition from the U.S. Mint or acquire from whatever source necessary the quantity of one ounce silver dollar coins sufficient to cover and discharge the obligation due each legislator as his or her compensation under Part II, Article 15 of the New Hampshire constitution.  

II.  The treasurer shall maintain in a separate account for payments under Part II, Article 15 of the New Hampshire constitution and upon payment of the 200 silver coins to a legislator for the legislative term, the legislator shall sign a receipt and impress his or her right thumb on the receipt.

3  Effective Date.  This act shall take effect 60 days after its passage.









AN ACT relative to the compensation of members of the general court.


FISCAL IMPACT:      [ X ] State              [    ] County               [    ] Local              [    ] None




Estimated Increase / (Decrease)


FY 2018

FY 2019

FY 2020

FY 2021












Indeterminable Increase

Indeterminable Increase

Indeterminable Increase

Indeterminable Increase

Funding Source:

  [ X ] General            [    ] Education            [    ] Highway           [    ] Other







This bill would require members of the legislature to be paid in silver coins.  The legislation directs the Treasurer to request from the U.S. Mint, or other source, one ounce silver coins sufficient to pay each legislator as compensation for his or her elected term.  When paid, each legislator would sign a receipt and impress his or her thumb print on the receipt.   


The State Treasury assumes the coins would be purchased from funds appropriated to the Legislative Branch.  The Treasury notes that although the face value of a silver coin may be one dollar, the spot value varies and was $16.47 on January 4, 2017.  At this value, 200 coins would cost $3,294 for each member of the legislature and $4,117 for the presiding officers.  The State Treasury does not expect any impact on revenues, but indicates there may be additional costs for administration such as armored car delivery services, record keeping, documenting payment,  and providing secure storage.  These costs are not known.  


The Office of Legislative Accounting indicates this bill would increase State general fund expenditures by an indeterminable amount.  The administration costs, as well as the costs to secure and distribute the coins, cannot be determined.



New Hampshire State Treasury and the Legislative Branch



HB541 at GenCourtMobile

Action Dates

Date Body Type
Feb. 7, 2017 House Hearing
Feb. 22, 2017 House Exec Session
March 8, 2017 House Floor Vote

Bill Text Revisions

HB541 Revision: 429 Date: Jan. 26, 2017, 8:14 a.m.


: Died on Table

March 9, 2017: Lay on Table (Rep. Hinch): MA RC 286-48 03/09/2017 HJ 10 P. 69

March 18, 2017: Removed from Consent (Rep. Marple) 03/18/2017 HJ 9 P. 7

March 8, 2017: Committee Report: Inexpedient to Legislate for 03/08/2017 (Vote 12-0; CC)

Feb. 22, 2017: Executive Session: 02/22/2017 LOB 104

Feb. 7, 2017: Public Hearing: 02/07/2017 10:20 AM LOB 104

Jan. 5, 2017: Introduced 01/05/2017 and referred to Legislative Administration HJ 3 P. 17