Legislation that would've barred Chinese citizens and entities from owning land in Alabama was amended in the Senate Agriculture, Conservation, and Forestry Committee on Wednesday.
House Bill 379, sponsored by House Majority Leader Scott Stadthagen (R-Hartselle), initially would've prevented Chinese citizens, governments or entities from acquiring land in Alabama. The legislation passed the House last week.
However, the bill was narrowed via a substitute amendment to prohibit 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.
This bill would now also prohibit certain individuals domiciled 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 real property within 10 miles of any military installation or critical infrastructure facility in the state.
The legislation lists China, North Korea, Russian, and Iran as "foreign countries of concern."
Stadthagen said at the meeting, "I'm in full favor of the sub" and "I think it checks all the boxes."
State Sen. David Sessions (R-Grand Bay), who offered the substitute amendment changing the legislation, said, "This legislation is not aimed at one specific group of people although it may have appeared that way in its original format."
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