New National Parks Quarter bill in Senate

Last week another commemorative national park quarters bill called S.3290 was brought before the Senate. It reads almost exactly like the first one (S.3214) that was introduced less than a month earlier.

The new one has some extra phrases that clarify certain sections in the bill, but most of the changes are barely noticeable. The purpose is the same — to create commemorative national park or site quarters in each state, D.C. and U.S. Territory starting in 2010.

The silver bullion coin section — the portion that permits a collector version of park quarters — does stands out. The older legislation has the silver weight at 5 ounces with a diameter of 3 inches — that is unique by itself for US coinage. (US bullion coins have been one ounce at most.) The newest proposal has increased the weight to a much larger 8 ounces. More on this in an upcoming post.

It’s hard to say why the old bill wasn’t updated. It was already very similar to the House of Representatives version (H.R.6184) that passed on July 9.

S.3290 does show continuing support for park quarters in the Senate and stronger evidence a quarter bill will become law.

Senator John Barrasso introduced the last one and this latest version. This time too, Senators Tim Johnson and Mike Enzi are listed with Barrasso.

Johnson said in a statement:

"South Dakota is blessed with some of the country’s most cherished natural and historic places, including Mount Rushmore National Memorial, Jewel Cave National Monument, and the Missouri National Recreational River.

We have all enjoyed seeing each new coin as part of the 50 State Coin Program. This legislation will now give us a chance to highlight the beauty of our National Parks."

A version of the legislation must pass both houses and get signed by the President before any new quarters can be designed, minted and issued.

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