Black farmers settlement may be close

Payments from a $1.2 billion discrimination settlement should start going out to black farmers by mid-July, Democratic Rep. Bennie Thompson of Mississippi said Monday.

The majority of claims will go to farmers in Alabama and Mississippi.

Thompson said that information came from attorneys for the farmers. Those attorneys met with him and other members of the Congressional Black Caucus last month.

The settlement resolves a lawsuit that the farmers filed against the federal Department of Agriculture claiming agriculture officials denied them loans and other assistance because of their race.