Bill Description: House Bill 180 would allow the state to take money that is sitting idle in its treasury and invest it in physical gold and silver.
NOTE: House Bill 180 is essentially the same as House Bill 522, which was introduced during the 2022 session and passed the House by a significant margin.
Does it violate the spirit or the letter of either the U.S. Constitution or the Idaho Constitution? Examples include restrictions on speech, public assembly, the press, privacy, private property, or firearms. Conversely, does it restore or uphold the protections guaranteed in the U.S. Constitution or the Idaho Constitution?
House Bill 180 would amend Section 67-1210, Idaho Code, which provides for how the state may invest its idle funds. The bill would add a new subsection to this list which says the state treasurer may invest in "physical gold and silver, owned directly."
The new subsection would also require that the "gold and silver held under this subsection shall be maintained securely in a depository for precious metals constructed, at a minimum, to currently accepted industry standards for secure storage and located within the geographical boundaries of the state."
An exception allowing storage in "a qualifying depository in a contiguous state" is provided in the case that "no depository meeting the requirements of this subsection exists in this state."
The treasurer is also tasked with ensuring that "the gold and silver held in a qualifying depository under this subsection is insured, independently audited, and physically segregated from other assets."
The U.S. Constitution states in Article 1, Section 10, that "no state shall ... make any thing but gold and silver coin a tender in payment of debts." The framers of the constitution clearly recognized the importance of physical gold and silver as a store of wealth and the foundation of currency.
House Bill 180 is a positive first step toward restoring the constitutional role of gold and silver. Diversifying the state's investments to include physical gold and silver also helps to protect the state's resources from the volatility of the bond market and the wealth destroying scourge of inflation.