YOUNGSTOWN – A proposal from the Ohio Treasurer’s office to help colleges and universities, hospitals and farm businesses borrow money will have a positive impact on the Mahoning Valley, local officials said.
Treasurer Robert Sprague led a discussion at Youngstown State University on Ohio Gains, a program that seeks to invest more of the state’s taxpayer dollars by creating cost savings for businesses and institutions based in the Ohio.
“We are unleashing the power of the treasury,” Sprague said. “We are always looking for ways to serve Ohio institutions. “
State Senator Michael Rulli, R-Salem, is one of the main sponsors of the bill to enact legislative reforms.
The proposal would reduce costs for state public universities by allowing them to leverage their share of state education, an award formula based on student achievement, when issuing debt, and to hospitals by allowing the state treasury to become the agency buying the debt if investors cannot be found to finance capital projects through a floating rate demand bond, a borrowing tool used by large institutions.
John Luellen, market president for Mercy Health Youngstown, said his company would benefit from the program.
“A dollar saved for us in managing our debt financing is a dollar we have for our capital infrastructure,” he said. “It’s a real opportunity for us to watch what we’re doing and help the community.
YSU President Jim Tressel said, “We have been good stewards for the past 25 years with our money. We are not exaggerating our debt. You want to have the needs of the students in mind, and that will give us that opportunity. “
The reform proposal would also remove the $ 150,000 per year cap on loans through the state agriculture-linked deposit program (Ag-Link), which provides for operating costs through rate cuts. interest on loans for agriculture.
In addition, agricultural cooperatives would be eligible borrowers under this program.
Tom Stocksdale, senior vice president of Farmers National Bank, agricultural banking director, called Sprague’s proposal a “win-win,” saying there is a demand for larger loan amounts from farmers.