JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – Aside from being a viral disease, coronavirus presents another widespread problem across the country: a coin and cash shortage.
Mississippi Senator Chad McMahan said that American currency unites us, and It should be accepted almost unconditionally.
“We have a common national stable currency,” Senator McMahan said. “If our companies are undermining our legal tender, you know that’s going to create more problems down the road.”
If you look closely at an any paper bill it clearly says “this note is legal tender for all debts, public and private,” but according to the Federal Reserve website, “Private business owners develop their own policies on whether to accept cash unless there is a state law which says otherwise.”
Senator McMahan said he’d like to see businesses be required to accept all kinds of payments, with a few exceptions.
“To meet the needs and demands of Mississippians– the average person that’s out here working and going to the grocery store and living their lives– I would like to see every business in Mississippi, have a pathway to take cash legal tender,” McMahan said.
He said exceptions would be online services, a prior agreement between buyer and seller, or suspicion about counterfeit cash.
Dr. Nathan Schrader, chairman for department of government politics at Millsaps College said that this type of demand, is untimely, and unfair to business owners.
“We need to be careful right now,” Dr. Shrader said. “The one-two-punch of the coronavirus pandemic and the economic downturn, to not be trying to prevent–to not do anything that is going to make things harder for our small business community here in Mississippi and elsewhere.”
Dr. Shrader said it’s just impractical.
“We need to be clear about how to keep small businesses afloat,” Dr. Shrader said. “Not weighing them down.