Distrust of the Federal Reserve and concern that U.S. dollars may become worthless are fueling a push in more than a dozen states to recognize gold and silver coins as legal tender.
Lawmakers in Arizona are poised to follow Utah, which authorized bullion for currency in 2011. Similar bills are advancing in Kansas, South Carolina and other states.
The measures backed by the limited-government Tea Party movement are mostly symbolic—you still can't pay for groceries with gold in Utah. They reflect lingering dollar concerns, amplified by the Fed's unconventional moves in recent years to stabilize the economy, said Loren Gatch, who teaches politics at the University of Central Oklahoma.