Lawmaker open to baptism in gold

SALT LAKE CITY — Last year, state lawmakers made gold and silver legal tender in Utah. This year they’re considering a resolution that expresses support for monetary systems that feature the metals as circulating currency.

“This is not a requirement,” said Rep. Brad Galvez, R-West Haven, sponsor of HJR9, which passed in the House on Friday. He said the idea is to support gold and silver as an alternate or competing currency.

“Let me be clear, I don’t perceive Utah’s monetary policies as anti-dollar or anti-federal reserve,” he said.

Rep. Brian King, D-Salt Lake, said the idea is “just not mainstream thinking.” He said it would feed into gold and silver schemes that border on fraud and unscrupulous speculators preying on Utahns.

“I can’t see any sound monetary theory or sound monetary policy behind it,” he said.

Rep. Marie Poulson, D-Salt Lake, said gold and silver have no intrinsic value.

“They certainly are used for a lot of things. But the value is only in the demand for them,” she said. And that value, she said, is volatile and unstable.

Rep. Steve Handy, R-Layton, said the banks he has talked to about the issue don’t get it. Handy said he doesn’t get it either, but is willing to continue taking “the lessons.” And when he does get it, Galvez “has promised to baptize me, by immersion of course, in gold.”

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