Texas lawmakers are pushing for a bill to ban certain foreign entities from purchasing land in the state. The bill, SB 147, is sponsored by Republican Senator Lois Kolkhorst (Brenham) and has the support of Texas Governor Greg Abbott. The bill would prohibit any future purchase of or otherwise acquiring title to real property in the state of Texas by governments or entities affiliated with countries such as 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 as a reason for the bill. Kolkhorst also mentioned examples in Florida and North Dakota, where Chinese corporations purchased hundreds of acres of land. In a statement, Kolkhorst said, “The growing ownership of Texas land by some foreign entities is highly disturbing and raises red flags for many Texans. 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 bill has broad bipartisan support in the Texas legislature and has been co-authored by 20 members of the Texas House of Representatives, including both Republicans and Democrats. It has also been endorsed by a number of conservative groups, including the Texas Conservative. Texas Scorecard has chronicled China’s incursions into Texas in a recent special investigative series and Exposed, an exclusive podcast series. The 88th Legislative Session begins January 10, 2023. Governor Abbott expressed his support for the bill, saying, “Texas will not turn a blind eye to the threats posed by foreign adversaries or those who fund terrorism. This bill will help keep Texas land out of the hands of those who wish to do our state and our nation harm." Senator Fallon, the co-author of the bill, said, “The security of our state and the safety of our citizens is of paramount importance. This legislation is an important step to ensure that foreign entities with adversarial ties to the United States are not able to purchase land in Texas.” Despite the broad support for the bill, it has been met with some criticism. Texas Democrat Party Chairman Gilberto Hinojosa said, “This bill is nothing more than an attempt to stoke fear and division in our state. We should be focused on bringing people together and making sure everyone in Texas is safe and has access to the same opportunities.” Nevertheless, the bill is an important step toward protecting the security of Texas and its citizens. It is essential that Texans remain in control of their own land and that hostile foreign actors are not able to purchase land in the state. As the 88th Legislative Session approaches, concerned citizens can contact their elected officials to ask how they will vote to protect Texas land.