On September 15, 2014, the House of Representatives passed a bill which would require the Secretary of the Treasury to mint and issue coins in commemoration of the centennial of Boys Town. The bill was amended from the original version to make two significant changes.
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 bill H.R. 2866 was introduced in the House on July 30, 2013 by Rep. Lee Terry of Nebraska and had gained 293 cosponsors before being passed by voice vote. The bill was received in the Senate and has been referred to the Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs. In order to become law, it must be passed in the Senate and then signed by the President.
If the bill becomes law, it would authorize the issuance of up to 50,000 $5 gold coins, 350,000 silver dollars, and 300,000 clad half dollars in commemoration of the centennial of the founding of Father Flanagan’s Boys Town. The designs for the coins would be emblematic of the 100 years of Boys Town and selected by the Secretary after consultation with the National Executive Director of Boys Town, the Commission of Fine Arts, and review by the Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee.
The original version of the House bill had specified that the coins may be issued during the period beginning on January 1, 2017 and ending on December 31, 2018. In recent years, commemorative coins have typically been eligible for issuance during only a one year period. The original version of the bill also did not include a provision to add surcharges to the cost of each coin. Typically, surcharges are added to the sales price of commemorative coins and later distributed to one or more beneficiary organizations.
In the amended version of the bill which was passed by the House, these two aspects were brought into line with the other recent commemorative coin offerings. The eligible issuance period was changed to January 1, 2017 to December 31, 2017. A provision was included to add surcharges to the price of each coin in the amount of $35 per gold coin, $10 per silver dollar, and $5 per half dollar. Subject to certain factors, these surcharges would be distributed to Boys Town to carry out Boys Town’s cause of caring for and assisting children and families in under served communities across America.
Congress may authorize only two commemorative coin programs for each year. A program to mark the centennial of the founding of Lions Clubs International has already been authorized for 2017, leaving room for only one more program.