Ag REDI loan bill approved

Ag REDI loan bill approved by Jaimi Reimer Value-added agricultural projects may be exempt from the rules governing the REDI fund.

The Senate passed, 20-14, SB120 to authorize Revolving Economic Development and Initiative Fund (REDI fund) loans for certain value-added ag projects and activities.

Sen. Mel Olson, D-Mitchell, said constituents are concerned that ag projects can�t receive money from the REDI fund because the projects don�t conform with the current rules. This bill would give the board

flexibility with the rules, he said.

The authorization would occur by exempting proposed ag projects and activities from primary industry and primary job creation requirements. The bill would specify circumstances under which matching requirements would be instituted.

�There�s a difference between creating jobs in manufacturing and doing the same in agriculture,� said Olson.

The bill was sponsored by Sens. Olson, Robert Benson, R-Clearfield, Dennis Daugaard, R-Garretson, H. Paul Dennert, D-Columbia, and Paul Symens, D-Amherst and Reps. Mike Jaspers, R-Eden, Quinten Burg, D-Wessington Springs, Roland Chicoine, D-Elk Point, Deb Fischer-Clemens, D-Mitchell, Art Fryslie, R-Willow Lake, Pat Haley, D-Huron, Doug Kazmerzak, D-Erwin, Sam Nachtigal, D-Platte, Mary Patterson, D-Sioux Falls, and Al Waltman, D-Aberdeen.

SB120 now moves to the House for further consideration.

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