April 19, 2024 Less than a minute read

Missouri Chamber opposes anti-business amendment to veterans bill

The Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry is opposing legislation that would bar the sale of farmland to U.S. trade partners.

This week, the House Veterans Committee heard SB 912. The underlying bill is focused on license plates and windshield placards for disabled veterans. In the Senate, however, legislators added an amendment – sponsored by Sen. Bill Eigel (R-Weldon Spring) – barring foreign individuals and businesses from owning farmland within 500 miles of a military facility. This would, in effect, prohibit all foreign ownership of Missouri farmland.

During the bill’s committee hearing, much of the conversation was focused on the farmland provision.

“It bothers me that we’re spending all this time talking about foreign ownership of land when I wish we would be talking about what’s going on with veterans,” said Rep. Dave Griffith (R-Jefferson City), the House Veterans Committee chair.

Griffith proposed removing the unrelated agricultural provision.

“This particular version that you have in here is in violation of the 14th Amendment, so we’re going to strip that out of this bill,” Griffith said.

The 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution grants equal civil and legal rights to all U.S. citizens.

The Missouri Chamber also testified in opposition to the farmland provision, and our governmental affairs team will be watching closely for other anti-business amendments during the remainder of the legislative session.

“Canada, Britain, Japan, just to name a few – They are very good trade partners. They invest billions of dollars in Missouri, and we turn around and do the same,” said Phillip Arnzen, director of legislative affairs for the Missouri Chamber. “If we prohibit them from buying agricultural land, that could send a chilling message that could stop some of the investment in Missouri, harming job growth and possibly our economy.”

For more information, contact Arnzen at parnzen@mochamber.com or call (573) 634-3511.


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