ST. PAUL — When District 22B Rep. Rod Hamilton, R-Mountain Lake, realized in a committee listening to final week that funding has dried up for Rural Finance Authority loans, he took rapid motion to suggest sending a invoice to replenish RFA funding on to the Home flooring — a movement blocked by his Democratic colleagues.
The RFA is a Minnesota Division of Agriculture entity that provides low-interest loans to farmers via quite a lot of mortgage packages.
“This program has a robust report,” mentioned Hamilton, noting that up to now, Minnesota farmers have used 3,094 RFA loans totaling $289.7 million borrowed.
“Since 1986,” he added, “solely 21 of those loans at a complete of $555,707 have been thought-about mortgage losses.”
As of Friday, funding out there to increase RFA loans had been exhausted — which means, Hamilton mentioned, that “we cannot be capable of make any new loans to farmers throughout this essential time of planting.”
Hamilton felt a way of urgency to resume RFA mortgage funding, so he requested the Home Agriculture and Meals Finance and Coverage Committee to think about suspending the principles and sending Home File 2959 on to the Home flooring for a vote.
His movement was blocked “on get together strains,” Hamilton mentioned, on the grounds that the invoice wanted to be heard within the Capital Funding Committee — which handles bonding requests — Tuesday morning.
The Capital Funding Committee had a constructive response to the $50 million RFA fund proposal. The committee handed the invoice on to Methods and Means, a committee on which each Hamilton and District 22A Rep. Joe Schomacker, R-Luverne, sit. The Methods and Means Committee subsequent meets Monday morning.
Hamilton nonetheless contends that the invoice have to be heard and voted on by your complete Home as quickly as attainable, quite than ready till the tip of the legislative session.
“My worry is that it will likely be held as a pawn for politics,” Hamilton mentioned, noting that there’s a probability the invoice could possibly be absorbed as half of a bigger omnibus invoice.
“We simply cannot use this as a bargaining chip,” the state consultant added. “We’ve to get this going now.”