COLUMBUS – House Bill 440, legislation sponsored by State Representatives DJ Swearingen (R-Huron) and Andrea White (R-Kettering) that will help keep Ohio treasury dollars in Ohio.
The changes that are brought forth in this legislation will expand the type of agro-businesses ability to borrow by eliminating the cap that can be borrowed. It will also help hospitals and public universities reduce their borrowing cost.
White and Swearingen worked with State Treasurer Robert Sprague on the Ohio Gain Initiative. This legislation implements investment reforms to support the agriculture community, health systems, and institutions of higher education.
“Farmers play such a vital role in our food supply and represent the largest industry in our state,” said White. “These savings will translate into benefits for all Ohioans as we help hold the line on increasing costs. This legislation, in partnership with Treasurer Sprague, will keep more of Ohio’s investment dollars working for Ohioans, while lowering the borrowing costs for our farmers, hospitals, and universities.”
The Ag-LINK Deposit Program provides farmers with interest rate reductions on new or existing loans for fertilizer, seed, equipment, or any other operational need. Under current Ohio law, Ag-LINK loans are capped at $150,000 per year. This legislation will eliminate current loan caps. In addition, agricultural co-ops will now be eligible for the program.
“Ohio Farmers are the backbone of our state and I am pleased to have carried this legislation with Representative White. It will help all Ohioans save money while making Ohio’s investment dollars work for our citizens,” said Swearingen.
The legislation will also help Ohio hospitals and public universities reduce their expenses by lowering their borrowing cost.
The bill would allow the State Treasury to step in as a hospital’s liquidity provider so the hospital system can use its Variable Rate Demand Obligation to finance capital improvement projects. In return, the hospital will save money on their loan repayment.
House Bill 440 passed by a vote of 91-0 and will now head to the Senate for further consideration.