Buried in the omnibus budget act that congress passed last Tuesday was a provision to extend the 50 State Quarters Program to include the District of Columbia and the territories of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, Guam, American Samoa, the United States Virgin Islands, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands.

Since 2000, District of Columbia Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton introduced bills trying to include DC and the territories with the 50 State Quarters Program. For the 110th session, Del. Norton introduced H.R.392, which had passed the House and was sitting in the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs. The bill has been sitting in committee with no action since last January.

Enter Rep. José Serrano (D-NY). Serrano is a native Puerto Rican representing the south Bronx and is chairman of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Financial Services whose jurisdiction is the Department of the Treasury. This gave him the power to insert the measure into this bill which he announced with great fanfare.

According to this article at washingtonpost.com, advocates of DC home rule are in favor of this measure. Now it is time to see how the District handles the design and what they come up with. Considering the dysfunction of the DC government, this should be an interesting exercise.

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