MONTGOMERY — The Alabama House of Representatives voted to concur with the amended version of a bill that would prevent Chinese acquisition of Alabama land.
House Bill 379, sponsored by House Majority Leader Scott Stadthagen (R-Hartselle), initially would have prevented Chinese citizens, governments or entities from acquiring land in Alabama after passing the House.
However, last week, the Senate Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry Committee aggressively amended the bill to clarify that bans only apply to specific individuals and entities purchasing farmland.
The amended bill prohibits individuals residing in certain foreign countries, certain foreign governments or governmental entities, and any person, country, or government identified on a sanctions list of the Office of Foreign Assets Control from acquiring agricultural and forest property in the state.
It would also prohibit the same listed entities from acquiring real property within 10 miles of any military installation or critical infrastructure facility in the state.
The bill passed the House two weeks ago. However, after being amended in the Senate, it required a concurrence in the House before going to Gov. Kay Ivey for her signature.
"Basically [the amendment] states that the Chinese government, entities of the government cannot purchase agricultural land, land within a 10-mile radius of a military institution or critical infrastructure," Stadthagen said on the House floor Tuesday. "It does not single out individuals of our state."
Stadthagen motioned to concur with the amended bill, passing with a vote of 80-18 with three abstentions.
The bill will not go to Gov. Kay Ivey's desk, where she can amend, veto, or sign it into law.
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