Dear Freinds and Neighbors,
An expiring loan program for farmers provided one of the more interesting debates in the Minnesota House this week.
HOUSE MAJORITY BLOCKS EFFORT TO REPLENISH FARMER LOAN PROGRAM
A loan program that is critical to farmers has run out of money. On Wednesday, a proposal was brought forward on the House floor that would have made an immediate $50 million infusion into the Rural Finance Authority (RFA) loan program, but the House majority voted unanimously to block it.
The Department of Agriculture warned us that available funding for RFA program loans would expire on Friday, which is why many of us wanted to act on this proposal with urgency. For those who are unaware, RFA partners with agricultural lenders to provide low-cost financing to farmers on terms and conditions not otherwise available from other credit sources. The RFA portion of the loan is carried at a reduced interest rate to improve the cash flow of eligible farmers. RFA offer loans within the beginning farmer loan and seller assisted program, agricultural improvement program, debt restructuring program, and livestock expansion programs.
The House majority indicated they would prefer to let this bill make its way through the committee process during the 2020 session. Traditionally funding is allocated in our capital investment proposal, which almost certainly won’t be seen in its final form until May. That’s too late for farmers who are trying to plan for the year ahead right now. They simply cannot afford to wait and have no time for political games.
It was good to see so many familiar faces in St. Paul this week.
Local resident Lindy Holmstadt and other University of Minnesota physical therapists stopped by to visit.
Athletic trainers also arrived in St. Paul this week to meet with lawmakers, including Emma Gnotke of Lake City.
We also observed Minnesota State Faculty Day at the Capitol.
I enjoyed meeting with ProAct of Red Wing this week! ProAct is an organization dedicated to serving people with disabilities and other challenges with a wide range of services that enhance employment skills and self-sufficiency capabilities.
And I was pleased to host Red Wing student David Scheerer, who witnessed first-hand what a state lawmaker does each day during session.
Are you ready to hear some of the best up and coming musicians in our area and around the Midwest? Then be sure to head to Red Wing today and tomorrow for the Big Turn Music Fest. Click here to learn more!
STAYING IN TOUCH
As always, if you have questions or concerns regarding any issue, please contact me. You can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org or 651-296-8635.