PHOENIX -- The National Bulk Vendors Association, based here, has teamed up with other leading stakeholders in the Dollar Coin Alliance, which was formed to counter attempts in Congress to halt production of the high-denomination coins, and to promote efforts to increase their circulation.
Two measures introduced in Congress early this fall might have a profound effect on the availability of dollar coins. The Senatorial delegation from Massachusetts, Sens. Scott Brown (R) and John Kerry (D), authored the Currency Efficiency Act of 2011. Their stated purpose is to halt "massive overproduction" of $1 coins, to eliminate the expense of storing them.
This proposal appears to be a response to a bill introduced in the House by Rep. David Schweikert (R-AZ), a member of the House Financial Services Committee. That initiative, the Currency Optimization, Innovation and National Savings Act (COINS), would halt production of the $1 banknote, thereby saving some $5 billion over 30 years.
Veterans of dollar coin campaigns dating back to 1978 recall that the United States is the only advanced industrial nation that still prints a low-denomination banknote, and that all the countries that replaced their low-value bills with coins did so to cut costs – and eliminated the banknotes, to insure circulation of the coins.
The Dollar Coin Alliance was assembled by small businesses, budgetary watchdogs, public transit agencies and labor organizations. Its honorary chairman is Jim Kolbe, a former Arizona congressman.
The American Amusement Machine Association and National Automatic Merchandising Association also are paying close attention to these developments. AAMA's Government Relations Committee, headed by Rick Kirby of Betson Enterprises, and a past AAMA chairman, has assigned a high priority to promoting the $1 coin. NAMA is working with the U.S. Mint to conduct research into the effect on vending operators of material changes to the nation's coin set.