Revision: Jan. 15, 2019, 12:09 p.m.
HB 525-FN - AS INTRODUCED
HOUSE BILL 525-FN
SPONSORS: Rep. Marple, Merr. 24; Rep. Howard, Belk. 8
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Matter which is either (a) all new or (b) repealed and reenacted appears in regular type.
STATE OF NEW HAMPSHIRE
In the Year of Our Lord Two Thousand Nineteen
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.
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.
HB 525-FN- FISCAL NOTE
FISCAL IMPACT: [ X ] State [ ] County [ ] Local [ ] None
Estimated Increase / (Decrease)
[ 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 dollar 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 silver coin may be one dollar, the spot value varies and was $14.49 on December 5, 2018. At this value, 200 coins would cost $2,898 for each member of the legislature and $3,622 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. Treasury also notes since the State budget is based on U.S. dollars, payment of legislative compensation in any currency other than U.S. dollars would also expose the legislative budget to future currency volatility.
The Legislative Branch states this bill would increase State general fund expenditures by an indeterminable amount. The cost to acquire sufficient one dollar coins fluctuates based on date of purchase. Other administrative costs, and costs for record keeping, securing and distributing the coins is unknown.
New Hampshire State Treasury and the Legislative Branch