COLUMBUS—The Ohio Senate today passed Senate Bill 241, sponsored by State Senators Michael Rulli (R-Salem) and Jerry C. Cirino (R-Kirtland), to provide help to farmers facing skyrocketing costs due to inflation.
The bill will modernize the state’s investment strategies in three key areas – agriculture, health systems, and higher education.
The bill specifically eliminates the cap on individual loans issued to farmers under the Agricultural Linked Deposit program, providing desperately needed relief to farmers facing enormous cost increases.
"In working on this bill, I have heard from local farmers about the rising cost of agricultural resources. For example, one ton of nitrogen fertilizer sold for $160 per ton last year now costs $530 per ton. Herbicides have doubled in price," said Senator Rulli. "Responsibly utilizing tax dollars in Ohio is something we can all agree on, and this bill will significantly reduce costs for farmers and bolster investments for the state."
“In a time where farmers are facing escalating costs to run their business and borrowing has become harder, this bill would bring much-needed relief for our agriculture industry," said Cirino. "Additionally, these cost-savings will help numerous institutions focus their financial resources on their principal missions to serve customers, patients, and students."
Ohio’s Ag-LINK program already provides farmers and agribusinesses with interest rate reductions on new or existing loans. Not only does this bill eliminate loan caps, it adds agriculture co-ops as eligible Ag-LINK borrowers. This will ensure the agriculture community has access to lower-cost capital when it’s most needed, making the program more efficient and meeting the top needs of Ohio's farmers.
Senate Bill 241 will also enhance Ohio’s investment portfolio by expanding the types of obligations in which the State Treasurer may invest state interim funds. This change will lead to lower borrowing costs for Ohio hospitals and enhanced credit for Ohio’s public universities who choose to utilize such a partnership with the state treasury.
Senate Bill 241 will now be sent to the Ohio House for further consideration.