Bill Text: FL S1804 | 2019 | Regular Session | Comm Sub

Bill Title: Emergency Loans for Agricultural Producers

Spectrum: Bipartisan Bill

Status: (Failed) 2019-05-03 - Died in Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture, Environment, and General Government [S1804 Detail]

Download: Florida-2019-S1804-Comm_Sub.html
       Florida Senate - 2019                             CS for SB 1804
       By the Committee on Agriculture; and Senator Albritton
       575-03192-19                                          20191804c1
    1                        A bill to be entitled                      
    2         An act relating to emergency loans for agricultural
    3         producers; transferring, renumbering, and amending s.
    4         570.82, F.S.; renaming the Agricultural Economic
    5         Development Program for disaster loans as the
    6         Agricultural Economic Development and Disaster Loans
    7         Program; transferring administration of the program
    8         from the Department of Agriculture and Consumer
    9         Services to the Division of Emergency Management
   10         within the Executive Office of the Governor; revising
   11         authorized uses of loan funds; revising eligibility
   12         requirements for loans; increasing the total loan
   13         limit and deleting the minimum limit; revising loan
   14         requirements; requiring borrowers to pay closing
   15         costs; specifying a limit on such costs and providing
   16         that such costs may be paid directly or be financed;
   17         specifying loan limits for certain crops; requiring
   18         the division to work with borrowers in evaluating the
   19         need to extend loan terms under certain circumstances;
   20         specifying the minimum and maximum allowable extension
   21         term; redefining the terms “losses” and “essential
   22         physical property” and defining the term “direct input
   23         costs”; revising eligible crops; defining the terms
   24         “commercial fishing” and “industrial crops”; deleting
   25         requirements for farm plans and participation in
   26         certain training programs; revising loan application
   27         requirements; providing that farm assets may be used
   28         as collateral; revising requirements for loan
   29         repayment; authorizing remedies for the division
   30         relating to loan defaults; specifying requirements for
   31         the division in administering the program; deleting a
   32         provision requiring the department to establish a
   33         certain grant program; amending s. 201.25, F.S.;
   34         conforming a provision to changes made by the act;
   35         providing an effective date.
   37  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   39         Section 1. Section 570.82, Florida Statutes, is
   40  transferred, renumbered as section 252.65, Florida Statutes, and
   41  amended, to read:
   42         252.65 570.82 Agricultural Economic Development and
   43  Disaster Loans Program disaster loans and grants and aid.—
   44         (1) USE OF LOAN FUNDS AND LOAN TERMS.—
   45         (a) The division shall use funds appropriated for the
   46  program to make loans Loan funds to agricultural producers who
   47  have experienced losses from a natural disaster or a
   48  catastrophic weather socioeconomic condition or event. Such
   49  loans may be used to:
   50         1. Restore or replace essential physical property or remove
   51  debris on farmland or from essential physical property.
   52         2. Pay all or part of production costs associated with the
   53  disaster year, including direct input costs.
   54         3. Pay the deductible to repair or replace insured farm or
   55  irrigation equipment essential family living expenses.
   56         4. Restructure farm debts.
   57         (b) To be eligible, agricultural producers must have a
   58  parcel or parcels of land in production not exceeding 300 acres.
   59         (c)A loan must be zero-interest and in an amount of not
   60  Funds may be issued as direct loans, or as loan guarantees for
   61  up to 90 percent of the total loan, in amounts not less than
   62  $30,000 nor more than $500,000 $300,000. The borrower shall pay
   63  closing costs, which may not be more than 1 percent of the loan.
   64  The closing costs may be paid directly by the borrower or may be
   65  financed as part of the loan Applicants must provide at least 10
   66  percent equity.
   67         (c)The following loan limits apply per federal employer
   68  identification number:
   69         1.For timber, up to $500 per acre.
   70         2.For cotton, up to $275 per acre.
   71         3.For peanuts, up to $125 per acre.
   72         (d)The term of the loan is 10 years. If a subsequent
   73  natural disaster or catastrophic weather event affects the same
   74  property for which a borrower has an outstanding loan made under
   75  this section and that loan is still within its original term,
   76  the division must work with the borrower to evaluate the
   77  necessity of extending the term of the loan. The evaluation must
   78  include, but need not be limited to, a review of the borrower’s
   79  financial condition, the availability of other financial
   80  resources or programs, and consistency with the administration
   81  of the program under subsection (8). If the division determines
   82  it necessary to extend the term of the loan, the extension may
   83  be for up to an additional 5 years but must be for at least 1
   84  year.
   85         (e)(d)As used in For purposes of this subsection, the
   86  term:
   87         1.“Direct input costs” means costs incurred for:
   88         a.Seed;
   89         b.A boll weevil eradication program under part I of
   90  chapter 593;
   91         c.Fertilizer, lime, or other soil amendment;
   92         d.Chicken litter;
   93         e.Chemicals;
   94         f.Custom application;
   95         g.Hand weeding;
   96         h.Crop scouting;
   97         i.Fuel and lube;
   98         j.Repairs and maintenance;
   99         k.Irrigation;
  100         l.Labor;
  101         m.Insurance;
  102         n.Land rent;
  103         o.Interest on operating capital;
  104         p.Drying and cleaning; or
  105         q.Marketing and fees.
  106         3.1. “Losses” means loss or damage to crops;, agricultural
  107  products;, agricultural facilities;, farm, ranch, or dairy
  108  infrastructure;, or irrigation equipment farmworker housing.
  109         2. “Essential physical property” means fences;, equipment;,
  110  structural production facilities such as shade houses and
  111  greenhouses;, other agricultural facilities;, farm, ranch, or
  112  dairy infrastructure;, or irrigation equipment farmworker
  113  housing.
  115  producers of the following crops are eligible for the emergency
  116  loan program Crops eligible for the emergency loan program
  117  include:
  118         (a) Crops grown for human consumption.
  119         (b) Crops planted and grown for livestock consumption,
  120  including, but not limited to, grain, seed, and forage crops.
  121         (c) Crops grown for fiber, except for trees.
  122         (d) Specialty crops, such as seafood and aquaculture,
  123  including, but not limited to, the products of shellfish or
  124  oyster cultivation and harvesting, ornamental fish farming, and
  125  commercial fishing; floricultural or ornamental nursery crops;
  126  Christmas trees; turf for sod; industrial crops; and seed crops
  127  used to produce eligible crops. As used in this paragraph, the
  128  term “commercial fishing” means the activity of catching fish or
  129  other seafood for commercial profit. As used in this paragraph,
  130  the term “industrial crops” means crops that provide materials
  131  for industrial processes and products, such as soybeans, cotton
  132  lint and cottonseed, flax, or tobacco.
  133         (3) FARMING INFORMATION.—A borrower must keep complete and
  134  acceptable farm records and present them as proof of production
  135  levels. A borrower must operate in accordance with a farm plan
  136  that he or she develops and that is approved by the
  137  commissioner. A borrower may be required to participate in a
  138  financial management training program and obtain crop insurance
  139  as a risk management tool.
  140         (4) LOAN APPLICATION.—In order to qualify for a loan under
  141  this section, an applicant must:
  142         (a) Submit an application to the division department within
  143  1 year 90 days after the date the natural disaster or
  144  catastrophic weather socioeconomic condition or event occurs or
  145  the crop damage becomes apparent.
  146         (b)Be An applicant must be a citizen of the United States
  147  and a bona fide resident of this the state, and must also
  148  demonstrate the need for economic assistance, and demonstrate
  149  that he or she has the ability to repay the loan. Only one loan
  150  may be issued per federal employer identification number.
  151         (c)Provide sufficient evidence to the division that he or
  152  she used crop insurance as a risk management tool, if available,
  153  at the time of the natural disaster or catastrophic weather
  154  event.
  155         (d)Be approved by the division.
  156         (5) LOAN SECURITY REQUIREMENTS.—All loans must be secured.
  157  A first lien is required on all property or product acquired,
  158  produced, or refinanced with loan funds. The specific type of
  159  collateral required may vary depending upon the loan purpose,
  160  repayment ability, and the particular circumstances of the
  161  applicant. Farm assets may be used as collateral.
  162         (6) LOAN REPAYMENT.—A borrower shall repay the loan
  163  Repayment of loans for crops, livestock, and non-real-estate
  164  losses shall normally be made within 10 7 years or, except a
  165  borrower who received an extension of a loan as provided in
  166  paragraph (1)(d) shall repay the loan by the expiration of the
  167  extension in special circumstances, within 20 years. Loans for
  168  physical losses to real estate and buildings shall not exceed 30
  169  years. A loan may not be extended or repaid beyond 15 years.
  170  Borrowers are expected to return to conventional credit sources
  171  when they are financially able. Loans are a temporary source of
  172  credit, and borrowers must be reviewed periodically to determine
  173  whether they can return to conventional credit.
  174         (7)LOAN DEFAULT.—In the event of a default by a borrower,
  175  the division may bring suit to enforce its interest, in addition
  176  to any other remedy provided by law.
  177         (8)ADMINISTRATION.—The division shall administer the
  178  program in a manner consistent with federal disaster relief,
  179  prioritizing the maximization of federal aid. All loan
  180  repayments must be returned to the fund from which the
  181  appropriation for the program was made.
  182         (7) GRANTS AND AID.—The department shall establish a grant
  183  program to provide aid to agribusinesses to assist in market
  184  development.
  185         Section 2. Subsection (2) of section 201.25, Florida
  186  Statutes, is amended to read:
  187         201.25 Tax exemptions for certain loans.—There shall be
  188  exempt from all taxes imposed by this chapter:
  189         (2) Any loan made by the Agricultural Economic Development
  190  and Disaster Loans Program pursuant to s. 252.65 s. 570.82.
  191         Section 3. This act shall take effect upon becoming a law.