CODY, Wyoming (Reuters) - In a sign of rising consumer confidence prevailing over go-it-alone pessimism in the Cowboy State, Wyoming lawmakers on Tuesday narrowly defeated a "doomsday bill" to help the state prepare for a total collapse of the U.S. government and economy.
The bill, rejected on a 30-27 vote by the state House of Representatives, would have allocated $16,000 for a panel of legislators and emergency managers to study various measures, including a new state-issued currency, for handling a range of apocalyptic scenarios.
The bill's chief sponsor, Republican Representative David Miller, originally had sought $32,000 to fund the task force, but the Joint Appropriations Committee later cut that amount in half. Republicans control both houses of the state Legislature.
House members on Monday had given the bill their initial backing after striking a "poison pill" amendment that mockingly asked whether Wyoming should purchase its own aircraft carrier and fighter jets.
"I guess a lot of people think if you're trying to prepare for a disaster, it makes you seem crazy," co-sponsor Kendell Kroeker said. "I was interested in it mainly because I don't think there's any harm in being well-prepared."
Supporters of the legislation had cited recent global economic turmoil and political unrest as reasons to plan for a range of hypothetical worst-case scenarios.
The bill would have funded contingency planning to guide Wyoming through "a situation in which the federal government has no effective power or authority over the people of the United States," as well as disruptions in food and energy supplies.
One option the bill contemplated in the event of a rapid collapse of the U.S. dollar was "the ability to quickly provide an alternative currency"...
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