A Senate committee has approved and sent to the full Senate SB 542 – a bill that would expand eligibility for the state’s linked deposit loan program. State Treasurer Clint Zweifel, testifying on behalf of the legislation which he calls the Invest in Missouri plan, sees the proposal as an initiative to create and retain Missouri jobs and to reinvest one-billion dollars in Missouri communities.
Part of the proposal would encourage greater use of low-interest loans to farms and small businesses. Administratively, the approval process for loans would be cut from three to six weeks down to one week. In addition, a cap on the interest rate that is earned in Missouri banks would be phased out over a four or five year period to create a more competetive marketplace for returns. Zweifel says the cap provides a disincentive to invest in the state.
Similar legislation – HB 883 – is under consideration in the House.