Rogers offers changes to strengthen Senate Bill 15

Published: Jan. 21, 2021 at 5:38 PM CST
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - State Treasurer Lynn Rogers has offered some critiques to strengthen Senate Bill 15.

Kansas State Treasurer Lynn Rogers says he offered neutral testimony to the Senate Financial Institutions Committee on Senate Bill No. 15, which establishes an additional linked deposit program that was designed to provide more relief to Kansas small businesses and agriculture operations struggling during the pandemic. He said the program will be administered by the State Treasurer’s Office.

According to Rogers, the State Treasurer’s Office currently administers two Linked Deposit Programs, the Kansas Agriculture Production Loan Deposit Program and the Kansas Housing Loan Deposit Program.

“There is no doubt Kansas has experienced devastating losses as a result of the public health crisis. Kansans and small businesses are struggling to recover as we continue to endure COVID-19,” said Kansas State Treasurer Lynn Rogers. “I strongly believe this program would provide an excellent opportunity to offer support to Main Street Kansas businesses and agriculture operations that have been financially impacted by COVID-19.”

Rogers said in his testimony, he suggested the following changes to strengthen the bill:

  • Residency requirement, specifying that the loans be used for Kansas residents with Kansas businesses.
  • Farm credit alignment, requiring farm credit unions to have headquarters or at least one branch in Kansas, as the Kansas statute already applies to banks and credit unions.
  • Defined businesses, clearly identifying for whom the $250,000 loans are truly intended.
  • Sunset or review clause, setting a clear timeline for the program and ensuring funds are available and are used to support recovery efforts from the COVID-19 pandemic. The program may be extended to provide additional economic recovery upon review by the legislature.

“I spent my entire career in banking and bring to this position more than 40 years of experience working in all aspects of the industry,” said Kansas State Treasurer Lynn Rogers. “I understand how beneficial these low-cost loans are to Kansans, Kansas businesses, and Kansas financial institutions. With these few minor changes, this program would bring a win-win situation to the State during these particularly challenging times.”

According to Rogers, the implementation of the additional program outlined in Senate Bill 15 would keep the two current programs in place. He said if the bill passes both chambers and is signed into law, the new deposit program would go into effect on July 1.

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