Legislation banning citizens and companies from six “foreign adversary” countries from owning or leasing certain plots of land in Indiana heads to Gov. Eric Holcomb’s desk, after lawmakers approved a final draft of the bill Friday.

There is some concern it would compromise economic development deals in the works, but it passed easily through both chambers: unanimously, 47-0, in the Senate, and 91-1 in the House. Rep. Mark Genda, R-Frankfort, was the lone “no” vote.

Author Rep. Kendell Culp, R-Rensselaer, told the House Friday that his bill “protects Indiana’s farmland and our food security.”

House Bill 1183 bars entities affiliated with China, Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Russia and Venezuela from acquiring or renting agricultural land — and mineral, riparian and water rights. Those nations are on a list kept by the U.S. Department of Commerce.

It also prohibits purchases and leases of land in a 10-mile radius of a military installation. That provision applies to entities from China, Iran, North Korea, Russia and any other countries designated “threats to critical infrastructure.”

There are exceptions for dual citizens and lawful permanent residents. It also lets citizens of the “adversary” countries rent residential properties, meant to accommodate university students, professors and others.

The Indiana Attorney General would be empowered to act on suspected violations. Illegally purchased land would be subject to divestiture, and the proceeds would go to first to lien-holders and then to the state of Indiana’s coffers.

The legislation has gotten some pushback.

Eleven Chinese companies are currently seeking projects within Indiana, according to bill sponsor Sen. Jean Leising, R-Oldenburg.

Accordingly, bipartisan lawmakers whose districts wanted to host those projects unsuccessfully pushed for changes allowing local units of government to circumvent the restrictions.

But there’s still one major carveout: renewals for leases made before July 1, 2024 are exempt from the ban, as long as the land leased doesn’t change. That’s to accommodate Syngenta, a Switzerland-based agrichemical company acquired by ChemChina in 2017.

The legislation builds on a previous measure passed in the 2022 session, which limited foreign entities from buying more than 320 acres in Indiana for crop farming or timber production, among other restrictions. That measure included farmland-related exceptions for research, confined feeding operations and egg-producing operations.

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