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PHOENIX -- The Arizona House has given initial approval to legislation that would make privately minted gold and silver coins legal tender, no different under state law than the U.S. dollar printed by the federal Department of Treasury.

The vote Thursday advancing the legislation marks Arizona's latest jab at the federal government. It also reflects a growing distrust of government-backed money.

The bill states that gold and silver should be legal currency not subject to tax or regulation as property. The Republican-led Senate gave an earlier version of the bill its blessing in February in a 17-11 partisan vote.

The bill would let people use precious metals as money if businesses agree. If made law, it would take effect in 2014.

Democrats call the measure a bureaucratic nightmare.

Associated Press,

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