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South Dakota Senate vetoes foreign ag land panel

The South Dakota Senate killed a bill requiring panel investigations and the governor’s approval for foreign ag land purchases. South Dakota Farm Bureau President Scott VanderWal says he is glad, because there were issues with the bill.

“The governor was not obligated to follow the reccomendation of the panel. He or she, whoever is governor at the time, could make that decision all alone and not knowing who future governors will be, we were concerned about that. There also wasn’t a waiver for research.”

VanderWal says that doesn’t mean the solution is entirely off the table.

“They have ways in the legislature, at least in South Dakota, where they can do a hog house. That’s where you take a bill with a completely different purpose and they substitute the language in. I don’t know if they’d try that, because of the opposition from ag groups and it wasn’t a very close vote.”

There is another foreign ag land ownership bill that passed in the House and will now be considered in the Senate. This legislation would make corporations who already file mandated annual reports to the state disclose whether they have any foreign owners or own foreign ag land.

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