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Wisconsin Ag News Headlines
Walker Signs Farm Disaster Declaration Measure
Wisconsin Ag Connection - 03/31/2016

Gov. Scott Walker signed 56 bills into law on Wednesday, including Senate Bill 549, which expands the use of an existing resource to assist the state's agricultural community during times of need following a gubernatorial designation of disaster.

Supporters say WHEDA currently operates a program that provides guarantees for certain agricultural production loans. Under the guarantee loan program, the agency is prohibited from guaranteeing a loan if the total outstanding principal of all loans to a borrower is more than a maximum amount set annually by WHEDA that is not more than $150,000. Under the new law, WHEDA is prohibited from guaranteeing a loan if the total guarantee, rather than the total outstanding principal, of all loans to the borrower is more than $250,000.

The bill also allows WHEDA to extend an agricultural production loan guarantee beyond the original term of the guaranteed loan if the loan is part of a loan workout agreement.

Additionally, under current law, when commercial interest rates exceed a certain amount, WHEDA must make interest reduction payments equal to two percent of the principal amount of a guaranteed loan to participating lenders. This bill makes both of these requirements permissive rather than mandatory.

And another provide changes the amount of a guarantee under the program to no more than 90 percent, regardless of the principal amount of a loan, and changes the amount of the interest reduction payments to an amount not to exceed two percent of the principal amount of the guaranteed loan.

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