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Bill to protect Indiana land passes Senate

Mar. 8—STATEHOUSE — A bill sponsored by State Sen. Jean Leising (R-Oldenburg) that would protect farmland and land around military bases in Indiana from adversarial nations unanimously passed the Senate with bipartisan support on March 4.

House Bill 1183 would prevent individuals, with some exceptions, from countries the U.S. Department of Commerce defines as adversarial states from obtaining farmland and land within a 10-mile radius of a military base in Indiana.

Currently, individuals who are not dual citizens that would be prevented from obtaining farmland in Indiana are those from Russia, China, North Korea, Iran, Cuba and Venezuela. Additionally, individuals who are not dual citizens that would be prevented from obtaining land near a military base in Indiana are currently those from Russia, China, North Korea and Iran.

"This legislation would work to address a homeland security risk our state — and by default our country — is facing because there are currently companies from adversarial states seeking projects in Indiana, including 11 from China," Leising said. "By passing this bill, the state can better protect our communities, military bases, economy and supply food chain from threats."

HB 1183 returned to the House of Representatives with amendments for further consideration.

The Indiana General Assembly has until March 14 to complete legislative business during the 2024 legislative session. Agendas, vote tallies and proposed legislation can be viewed online by visiting iga.in.gov.

Leising represents Senate District 42, which includes Decatur, Fayette, Ripley and Rush counties, and portions of Franklin, Jennings and Shelby counties. — Information provided