In response to mounting concerns about the increasing trend of foreign ownership of Illinois land, State Senator Sally Turner (R-Beason) has introduced new legislation to protect the state’s critical farmland by prohibiting property ownership within Illinois by noncitizens from nations that have been deemed hostile by the federal government.
“The agricultural industry is the backbone of our state’s economy, and we must take decisive steps to ensure its sustainability,” said Sen. Turner. “Those steps begin with my new legislation, which directly addresses legitimate concerns surrounding ownership of farmland by individuals from a hostile nation and the impact of that ownership has on our national security.”
Drawing inspiration from successful bipartisan laws in California and Arkansas, Senate Bill 2668 aims to alleviate farmers fears that land acquisitions by foreign nations and investors may inflate farmland prices and pose a potential threat to national security. Currently, 24 states have passed similar legislation to mitigate the risks associated with the purchase of farmland by foreign entities that may jeopardize national security.
“Senate Bill 2668 is a proactive measure that safeguards our crucial agricultural resources,” continued Sen. Turner. “Failing to implement policies to conserve our state’s greatest asset now could leave us vulnerable to potential threats in the future.”
Senator Turner hopes that her legislation will spark a broad and constructive discussion among lawmakers regarding the state’s commitment to the welfare of its agricultural industry and the overall security of the nation.