HB1189 passes House Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee

PIERRE, S.D.(KJJQ)- The House Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee of the South Dakota Legislature passes a bill Thursday designed to start closing a loophole in the foreign ownership of ag land.

Currently, state law prohibits ownership of more than 160 acres of ag land. House Majority Leader Will Mortenson of Pierre says it does not address foreign-owned companies.

Mortenson says it’s a tough nut to crack because there are a lot of ways to own land. He says HB 1189 is a start. It adds one question to the form that all South Dakota companies file every year.

He says they need to find out the extent of hidden foreign ownership.

The Governor’s office and several farm groups spoke in favor of the bill.

No one testified against the measure. It passed 13-0 and moves to the House floor.