Texas

The new bill will ban certain foreign organizations from buying land in Texas.

(Central Square) – A bill has been introduced in the Texas legislature to prevent citizens, governments, and organizations from China, Iran, North Korea, and Russia from buying land in Texas.

Republican Senator Lois Colkhorst filed SB 147 to bar certain foreign governments and related entities from buying property in Texas.

It follows an executive order issued by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis last year, but includes fewer countries and far fewer bans.

The bill prohibits certain foreign individuals or entities from buying or otherwise acquiring ownership of real estate in Texas. These include government entities in China, Iran, North Korea, or Russia; a company or other legal entity headquartered in these countries or directly or indirectly owned or controlled by the governments of these countries; owns or a majority of the shares or other interests in which is owned or controlled by individuals who are citizens of these countries; or a citizen of these countries, among other things, in accordance with the language of the bill.

“In the last few years, more Texans have become alarmed by the massive land acquisition by mainly Chinese interests,” Colkhorst said in a press release. “The growing ownership of land in Texas by some foreign entities is of great concern and alarm to many Texans. By comparison, as an American, try buying land next to a Chinese military base and see what happens. It will never happen there, nor should it happen here. The passage of this law provides some basic guarantees to ensure that Texans retain control of Texas land.”

The bill was filed after the Texas legislature unanimously adopted “Lone Star Infrastructure Protection Act” to ban all contracts or agreements with foreign companies related to critical infrastructure in Texas. Gov. Greg Abbot signed the bill into law in 2021.

The legislature took action after a Chinese billionaire and former Chinese People’s Liberation Army general bought more than 130,000 acres of land within miles of Laughlin Air Force Base in Val Verde County, the US Air Force’s largest pilot training base.

According to the National Association of Realtors 2022. reportChinese investors made up 6% of foreign buyers who spent more than $6 billion on US real estate between March 2021 and March 2022. The main foreign buyers were from Canada and Mexico.

Foreign buyers purchased the third largest piece of US land in Texas (8%). They bought the most in Florida (24%) and California (11%).

According to Defend Texas Liberty PAC vote held last October among registered Republican voters, 82% agreed that “Texas should prohibit the Chinese government or Chinese citizens from buying land in Texas.” Only 10% said they shouldn’t.

While Colkhorst’s bill only targets four countries and is related to real estate, DeSantis took action against seven countries and issued much broader bans.

Last September, DeSantis published a decree prohibiting governments from purchasing technology products and services from companies owned, controlled, or registered in seven foreign countries of concern: China, Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Syria, Russia, and Venezuela.

According to him, this will “cut down the nefarious intentions” of these countries in cyberspace, real estate and academia to protect the people of Florida.

His order directed the Department of Management Services to promulgate the rules and take any additional action necessary to ensure that goods and services used by state and local governments were not exploited in those countries. It also prohibited state and local governments from acquiring or using technology services that the DMS determines pose a security risk to Florida due to the company’s ties to one of the seven countries or their use by one of the seven countries, among other factors.

This, DeSantis said, “will help prevent the disclosure of state information and technology services and systems in Florida to other state and non-state actors associated with” the seven countries.

DeSantis also proposed legislative action to prevent government agencies from contracting with companies owned, controlled, or registered in seven countries if the contract would provide access to personal information of Florida residents, and to prohibit any of the seven countries from purchasing agricultural land and land. around military bases in Florida.

Florida also changed his pension system fund strategy to ensure that public funds are not invested in the Chinese or “wake up corporations”.

He also banned the Confucius Institute from Florida universities and colleges. The institutes were used for “propaganda at our universities, as if our universities didn’t have enough problems already,” DeSantis said.

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