Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Final Push for SB 416 - "Sound Money in Banking Act"

So, this Friday (March 26th) is "Crossover Day" in the Georgia legislature. That is, if a bill doesn't get passed by a chamber by Friday, it cannot "cross over" to the other chamber to be passed into law.

We've pushed hard over the past year for HB 430, the "Constitutional Tender Act," here in Georgia. We got it a large hearing before two combined subcommittees - something that had never been done before with a bill like this. But then, the subcommittee chairs wouldn't hold a vote on the bill, in order to send it up to the full committee for a hearing and vote; so, we couldn't get it to the full House for a vote, either.

(Feel free to contact the chairmen of the subcommittees, Mike Coan and Calvin Hill, to let them know what you think of them bottling up this simple bill to return Georgia to its Constitutional requirements of sound money.)

Last month, we saw a new bill introduced on the Senate side: SB 416, the "Sound Money in Banking Act," which is basically one-half of the Constitutional Tender Act (the half dealing with getting banks to offer accounts based on legal tender Gold Eagles and Silver Eagles). This bill quickly garnered the co-sponsorships of over 25% of the Senate Banking and Financial Institutions Committee; however, the chairman of that committee, Sen. Bill Hamrick, has yet to bring the bill up for debate and a vote.

After Friday, it will be too late. So, this is the last chance we'll have this session to get any sound money bill through the Georgia legislature.

This week, I faxed a letter to 1,079 bank presidents across Georgia, which said this:
I'm writing to you today to ask you to take a very important action in order to SAVE the rapidly failing banking industry in the State of Georgia.

As you know, times are tough for banks right now. In fact, Georgia is leading the nation in the number of bank failures over the past year. More than three out of five Georgia banks were unprofitable in 2009, over twice the national average. The banking industry desperately needs new ways of bringing in business, customers, and money.

Thankfully, State Senator David Shafer, a member of the Senate Banking and Financial Institutions Committee, has introduced SB 416, the "Sound Money in Banking" Act. This bill would require any bank serving as a depository for the state to offer and accept legal tender gold and silver coins for deposit. Such a bill could SAVE the banking industry - and YOUR bank.

If banks in Georgia were to allow their customers to establish legal tender gold and silver accounts, there will be a HUGE influx of customers not only from across Georgia, but from across the nation; this is the Georgia banking industry's best opportunity to attract the record-breaking legal tender silver and gold coin business, now at over 30 million Silver Eagles and nearly 2 million Gold Eagles per year. That would be an increased reserve of over $2.2 BILLION in value in Georgia's banks - and NO other state is offering this service in its banks!

Right now, over 25% of the members of the Senate Banking and Financial Institutions Committee are already co-sponsors of this bill. But in order for the bill to continue to move forward, we need for SB 416 to be voted OUT of committee, and passed in the full Senate - before THIS FRIDAY, March 26th! Otherwise, the bill will DIE this year.

Right now, I'm asking you to please contact Sen. Bill Hamrick, the Chair of the Committee, at 404-656-0036. Ask him to schedule a hearing and a vote for SB 416, the "Sound Money in Banking" Act, THIS WEEK. Next week will be too late. The future of banking in Georgia is depending on YOU right now. Thank you.
I've also sent a message to all 1,296 members of our ConTen Facebook cause/group, asking them to contact Sen. Hamrick as well. I've done the same to the 5 co-sponsors of the bill. And, of course, I've contacted Sen. Hamrick directly, to make my case once again.

And now, I'm asking YOU to do the same. Please call Sen. Hamrick at 404-656-0036, email him at bill.hamrick@senate.ga.gov, and/or fax him at 404-651-6767. Ask him to please schedule a hearing BEFORE FRIDAY for SB 416, and tell him why it's important: to save the Georgia banking industry, and restore sound money for our citizens.

Thank you for your help, and your support. Let's keep pushing. We have to; it's our moral duty to our neighbors and fellow citizens.

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