Republican State Sen. Lois Kolkhorst (Brenham) has filed legislation to ban certain foreign entities from gaining ownership of Texas lands.
According to Kolkhorst’s office, Senate Bill 147 “would prohibit any future purchase of or otherwise acquiring title to real property in the state of Texas by governments or entities affiliated with these countries or their citizens.”
The countries listed in the ban include Iran, Russia, North Korea, and China.
Recent polling found 82 percent of Texas Republican voters want to see the Texas government prohibit the Chinese government or Chinese citizens from purchasing land in the state.
Kolkhorst cited a recent purchase of 130,000 acres in South Texas near Laughlin Air Force Base by a former member of the Chinese communist army in 2021.
Kolkhorst also cited examples in Florida and North Dakota where Chinese corporations purchased hundreds of acres of land.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis then took executive action to “curb the future purchase of any property near military bases and other agriculture properties across the state.”
According to Kolkhorst’s office, “Senate Bill 147 builds on SB 2116 which passed the Texas Legislature unanimously in 2021 and protects critical infrastructure against contracts with certain countries.”
“The growing ownership of Texas land by some foreign entities is highly disturbing and raises red flags for many Texans,” said Kolkhorst. “By comparison, as an American go try to buy land near a Chinese military base and see how it works out for you. It would never happen there and it shouldn’t happen here. Passing this law delivers some basic safeguards to ensure Texans remain in control of Texas land.”
The 88th Legislative Session begins January 10, 2023.
Concerned citizens can contact their elected officials to ask how they will vote to protect Texas land.