Well, that was fun.
Senate scraps Marshall’s bid for doomsday dollar
BY MARKUS SCHMIDT AND OLYMPIA MEOLA Richmond Times-Dispatch Richmond Times-Dispatch
Posted: Tuesday, February 19, 2013 4:16 pm | Updated: 7:29 am, Wed Feb 20, 2013.
The U.S. dollar will remain the only legal tender in the commonwealth for now. The Virginia Senate today killed a House proposal that would have established a joint subcommittee to study the feasibility “of a metallic-based monetary unit” as an alternative to the dollar.
The cost of the study was estimated at $17,440.
After lawmakers on both sides of the aisle urged the defeat of House Joint Resolution 590, sponsored by Del. Robert G. Marshall, R-Prince William,Ö the Senate dispatched the resolution on a voice vote.
Marshall had suggested that the state create its own currency to compete with the dollar. “It would be an additional vehicle of trade and commerce,” he said in an interview earlier this month.
Marshall’s proposal, which the House had passed by a two-thirds vote, attracted national notoriety because the Republican had said that he wanted to prepare Virginia for the impact of a major financial meltdown, caused by hyperinflation, cyber attacks on banks and the Federal Reserve's increasing control over the nation's money supply.
“It seems to me we're facing a serious question: do we want to be ridiculed on ‘Saturday Night Live’ again? I suggest we don't and that we vote against the resolution,” Sen. Janet D. Howell, D-Fairfax said today.
The House measure had been amended once it came to the Senate to state that nothing in the resolution should be interpreted as permitting the joint subcommittee to consider or develop the establishment of an alternative currency for Virginia.
“A lot of the debate that we heard from a well-respected economist was in issues relating to cyber security and monetary policy,” said Sen. Ryan T. McDougle, R-Hanover, who chairs the Senate committee that advanced the legislation.
He mentioned at one point that he would yield “to discuss the bill that I did not introduce.”
Sen. John Watkins, R-Powhatan, said “We've got a lot of issues that we're trying to deal with in this legislature, and this is not one of them.”
Michael Smitka, professor of economics at Washington and Lee University, had criticized Marshall’s doomsday-scenarios as not being grounded in reality.