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|Giannoulias Says Farm Loan Program More Strict -- For Banks
|The Illinois State Treasurer and U.S. Senate candidate says he's put tighter restrictions in place for a program that provides loans to farmers, so that they can actually take part in the program.
Alexi Giannoulias says the state has re-implemented a program he calls "Cultivate Illinois" that provides lines of credit to farmers so they can purchase seed, fertilizer, and other expenses.
Giannoulias suspended the program, he says, after it was determined that many the 200-plus lending institutions weren't lending back out money given to them by the state for the program.
Giannoulias tells WGIL the way banks were using the money before, it was benefiting them at the expense of taxpayers. "In many instances, the banks would either not fund these farmers for their loans, or in some cases, they would only fund them partially through these credit lines," Giannoulias said. "For example, if we gave a $200,000 reduced-rate deposit to an institution...in some instances, they'd only give out $10,000 or $15,000 to these farming families, and yet, it would the State of Illinois taxpayers a certain amount of money, because it wasn't going where it should."
The Chicago Democrat declined to speculate on what he thought the banks were doing with the money they weren't lending out -- whether they were pocketing it or using it for something else.
Giannoulias says banks must, among other things, document and submit to his office how they're using the money being given to them. Loans are available at up to $100,000 per borrow, or $200,000 per farm.
(Alexi Giannoulias. WGIL News File Photo.)
|07 20 09 by Newsroom
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