Kansas Governor Killed Limits on Foreign Land Ownership

(TheConservativeTimes.org) – Restrictions on foreign ownership of land in Kansas have just been taken away after the governor vetoed a bill that would protect military bases from Chinese spying, according to Republicans.

Kansas House’s top GOP leader accused Gov. Laura Kelly of being apathetic toward serious national security threats. The bill would have prohibited more than ten percent ownership by foreign nationals of any non-residential property within 100 miles of any military installation.

A Kansas University report showed that Chinese ownership accounted for one acre of owned Kansas agricultural land. Companies owned over two percent of the state’s fifty million acres of private agricultural land. The bill that was expected to pass would make the university compile annual reports on all foreign real estate ownership.

Kelly stated during their veto speech that Kansas does need protections, but that the bill was so broad that it could disrupt “legitimate investment and business relationships.”

“I am not willing to sign a bill that has the potential to hurt the state’s future prosperity and economic development,” Kelly said.

Kansas exported over fourteen million dollars of product last year and China was their fourth largest trading partner during that time behind Japan, Canada, and Mexico.

Kansas already has limitations on corporate ownership of agricultural land and more than twenty other states restrict foreign land ownership as well. A Chinese spy balloon was spotted over Kansas near Fort Leavenworth, which is near the U.S. Army’s College for Training Commanders. This is what sparked concern that would lead to restrictions on foreign land ownership; this was also due to a national biosecurity lab that was placed close to Kansas University.

Some Kansas officials wanted stronger and stricter restrictions while others felt that the restrictions were plenty. House Speaker Dan Hawkins said, “Despite the governor’s apathy, we’ll continue to work to protect Kansas and its citizens from those foreign bad actors who wish to exploit land ownership loopholes.”

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