Bills have been introduced in both the House and Senate which seek to authorize commemorative coins to mark the centennial of Boys Town. In the last session of Congress, the program had nearly been approved when a bill was passed in both chambers but in non-identical forms that were never resolved.
Boys Town is a non-profit organization dedicated to saving children and healing families. The original Boys Town was founded on December 12, 1917 by Father Edward Joseph Flanagan and has grown to provide care to children and families in 11 regions. The national headquarters is located in the village of Boys Town, Nebraska.
The reintroduced versions of the bill are S. 301 introduced by Sen. Deb Fischer of Nebraska on January 29, 2015 and H.R. 893 introduced by Rep. Jeff Fortenberry of Nebraska on February 11, 2015.
The text from the Senate bill calls for up to 50,000 $5 gold coins, 350,000 silver dollars, and 300,000 clad composition half dollars to be issued in commemoration of the centennial of the founding of Father Flangan’s Boys Town. The designs are to be selected by the Secretary of the Treasury following consultation with the Commission of Fine Arts, the National Executive Director of Boys Town, and review by the Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee.
The coins are to be issued only during the period beginning on January 1, 2017 and ending December 31, 2017. Prices for the coins will include surcharges of $35 per gold coin, $10 per silver dollar, and $5 per half dollar distributable to Boys Town to carry out Boys Town’s cause of caring for and assisting children and families in underserved communities across America.
The text of the House bill is not yet available.
The Senate bill currently has 21 cosponsors and has been referred to the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs. The House bill has two cosponsors and has been referred to the House Financial Services Committee.
In the 113th Congress, a bill seeking to authorize the Boys Town Commemorative Coin Program had been passed in the House of Representatives on September 15, 2014. It was then passed in the Senate on December 15, 2014 with an amendment specifying that the surcharges should be paid to the United States Treasury to reduce the national debt, rather than to Boys Town as specified in the original bill. The differences were never reconciled before the end of the session of Congress.