Some Ohio legislators say it’s time the state modernizes its system of discount loans to farmers. Since 1985, the state treasurer has steered some investments to local banks, on the condition that the banks, in turn, loan money to local farmers at a discount interest rate. Now, lawmakers are calling for the $125 million program to be expanded to $165 million. They also want the cap on loans raised from $100,000 to $150,000. The Ohio Farm Bureau and Republican lawmakers often call for government to get its nose out of the economy, but in this case, both groups are backing the plan to enlarge the state-initiated loans. GOP state Representative Brian Hill maintains there’s no conflict.
Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel also backs the idea of updating the state-initiated loans to farmers.