Marshals coin moves closer to reality (Updated)

by The City Wire staff ([email protected]) 74 views 

The effort to mint a coin commemorating the U.S. Marshals Service and help raise money for the U.S. Marshals Museum is one step closer to reality, according to U.S. Rep. Steve Womack, R-Rogers.

Womack announced Wednesday that HR 886, the United States Marshals Service 225th Anniversary Commemorative Coin Act, reached 299 cosponsors — 9 more than the 290 needed to advance the bill to the House Floor.

“Today, I am pleased to announce that this legislation has made it over the first and most difficult hurdle, and I am looking forward to working with Chairman Bachus and my other colleagues to usher this bill through the House,” Womack said in a statement.

In January 2007, the U.S. Marshals Service selected Fort Smith as the site for the national museum. The cost to build the 50,000-square-foot museum — including exhibit work — is estimated as high as $50 million.

Jim Dunn, president and CEO of the U.S. Marshals Museum, said Wednesday that $9.1 million has been raised, and museum officials “anticipate more before the end of the year or shortly after.”

Updated info: The commemorative coin, if the new legislation is approved, would be minted in 2014 to coincide with the 225th anniversary of the establishment of the Marshals Service. It would be available in three denominations, a $5 gold coin, a $1 silver coin and a half-dollar clad coin. The coins would be the first commemorative coin to honor the United States Marshals Service.

According to language in the proposed bill: “The first $5,000,000 available for distribution under this section, to the U.S. Marshals Museum Inc., also known as the United States Marshals Museum, for the preservation, maintenance, and display of artifacts and documents.”

“This is a huge step forward for the USMM in that enactment of this legislation and the sale of this coin could produce up to $5 million for the museum,”  Dunn said.

Sara Lasure, communications director for U.S. Sen. John Boozman, R-Ark., said there are 27 sponsors in the Senate, including U.S. Sen. Mark Pryor, D-Ark., who introduced the Senate version of the coin bill. The bill will require 67 sponsors to push it to a floor vote in the Senate.

“For nearly 225 years, the U.S. Marshals Service has represented our country’s law enforcement with class and dedication — upholding its creed of justice, integrity and service,” Womack noted in his statement. “This commemorative coin will stand as a symbol and constant reminder of the character and tradition of one of America’s greatest institutions.”