Foreign land ownership restrictions updated

Lawmakers passed a measure April 11 intended to modernize restrictions on foreign ownership of land in Nebraska.

Sen. Barry DeKay
Sen. Barry DeKay

LB1301, introduced by Niobrara Sen. Barry DeKay on behalf of Gov. Jim Pillen, adds a number of conditions to the right of foreign individuals or foreign-owned companies to own land in the state.

Under the bill, Individuals and entities are subject to greater scrutiny and restrictions on land ownership in Nebraska if they are on the sanctions list maintained by the federal Office of Foreign Assets Control of the U.S. Department of the Treasury or determined by the U.S. Secretary of Commerce as having engaged in a long-term pattern or serious instances of conduct significantly adverse to U.S. national security.

Among other provisions, the measure allows individuals to report suspected foreign ownership of land by a restricted entity, and the state Department of Agriculture is required to investigate suspected violations and refer them to the state attorney general or, if necessary, retain outside counsel.

The court may terminate a lease that is in violation of the bill and the state may sell any real estate acquired under the bill’s divestment provisions.

LB1301 passed on a 46-0 vote.

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