March of Dimes Commemorative Coin Act of 2012
Sponsors: Representatives Robert Dold (R-IL) and Nita Lowey (D-NY) and Senators Kay Hagan (D-NC) and Susan Collins (R-ME).
On December 18, 2012, President Barack Obama signed the March of Dimes Commemorative Coin Act of 2012, which honors the 75th anniversary of the March of Dimes and recognizes its landmark accomplishments in maternal and child health. The U.S. Senate passed the bill on December 10; the U.S. House of Representatives passed similar legislation on August 1.
The March of Dimes Commemorative Coin Act of 2012 authorizes the U.S. Mint to strike up to 500,000 silver $1 commemorative coins. A surcharge of $10 added to the coin’s cost will go to the March of Dimes. If all the coins are sold, $5 million would be directed towards vital programs and scientific research to improve infant health. The March of Dimes will match these funds through private contributions.
March of Dimes volunteers across the country created a groundswell of support for the coin, sending letters, holding meetings and making phone calls to persuade 72 Senators and 305 Representatives – more than two-thirds of each chamber – to cosponsor the respective bills.
The commemorative coin will be issued in 2015 in honor of the March of Dimes’ 75th Anniversary.
- Congress annually authorizes commemorative coins to honor American people, places, events, and institutions. Although the coins are legal tender, they are not minted for general circulation. The U.S. Mint produces each commemorative coin in limited quantity and for a limited time.
- Commemorative coins also help raise money for important causes by including a small surcharge that goes to organizations and projects that benefit the community.
- Commemorative coin legislation is revenue-neutral. Coins are produced at no net cost to the Mint; all costs of production are recovered before any funding is received by the entity being recognized.
See also: What health care reform means for you and your family, PREEMIE Reauthorization Act
Frequently Asked Questions
Are charities allowed to lobby?
The March of Dimes is registered with the Internal Revenue Service as a 501(c)(3), which defines us a charity, meaning that we are exempt from federal income tax and donations to us are tax-deductible for the donors.
This designation stipulates that as a tax-exempt organization, we must be nonpartisan, so we cannot ever endorse a particular politician or political party. And it means our lobbying must be "minimal" - meaning that resources devoted to it are constrained. As long as we stay within that framework, the law and regulations provide that we may lobby at all levels of government.
If the price of stamps goes up, does this affect the March of Dimes?
Yes, the March of Dimes takes advantage of the Nonprofit Standard Mail rates and other incentives offered by the U.S. Postal Service. So we are closely following the currently proposed 4 to 6 percent increase in these rates. If allowed to go into effect, this would substantially increase mailing costs for the March of Dimes as well as other nonprofit organizations.
When was FDR’s profile put on the dime?
In 1945, U.S. Representative Ralph H. Daughton of Virginia introduced H.R. 4790 to create a dime "bearing the likeness of Franklin Delano Roosevelt." The dime was chosen due to the significance of President Roosevelt asking the public to send a dime for research to stop the incidence of polio and to aid victims of the disease. Following passage in both the House and the Senate, President Truman signed the legislation into law. The first Roosevelt dime was minted in 1946.