(The Center Square) — Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey signed a bill on Wednesday that is intended to protect land from purchase by hostile nations.
House Bill 379 is known as the the Alabama Property Protection Act and was sponsored by Rep. Scott Stadthagen, R-Hartselle. The new law bans the sale of agricultural and forest land; and “critical infrastructure” such as chemical plants, electricity generation plants, airports or water treatment facilities to China, Iran, North Korea and Russia.
The new law also prohibits sale to any foreign entity agricultural and forest property and any real estate within 10 miles of a military base or “critical infrastructure.”
The measure was passed May 9 by the House 73-23 and May 18 by the Senate 26-7.
“Across the United States, we have seen alarming instances of foreign entities purchasing large tracts of land, which could have severe consequences for our country’s national defense and economy, if no action is taken,” Ivey said in a news release. “From our forests to our farmland, Alabama is blessed with an abundance of highly valuable natural resources that must be protected.
“We also have a large military presence, and Alabama will always do our part to put the security of our country and our people first. The simple fact of the matter is that foreign governments have no business owning land in Alabama, and I am proud to sign this bill and ensure that will never be the case going forward.”
Alabama is not the only state considering a measure that would cap foreign purchase of farm land. The Louisiana Legislature is considering a bill that deals solely with farmland, while Mississippi’s similar legislation was watered down to a study committee in March before Gov. Tate Reeves signed it into law.