Rep. Perkins Stands With Our Ally Israel
On Wednesday, the House welcomed Israeli Consul General Maor Elbaz-Starinsky to the Missouri Capitol, where he addressed a joint session of the General Assembly. Rep. Perkins, a member of the escort committee, said he was proud to stand with Israel, a key U.S. ally. “After the horrific terrorist attacks perpetrated by Hamas last October, it’s more vital than ever that we show support for Israel,” Perkins said. He criticized Rep. Cori Bush from St. Louis who has seemingly voiced support for Hamas, calling it “a disgrace.” Perkins noted her recent vote against banning Hamas terrorists involved in last October’s attack on Israel from entering the U.S., calling it “appalling.” Perkins said Missouri leaders must continue opposing the “anti-Israel narrative that progressive politicians seem intent on pursuing.”
House Looks to Protect Children’s Identities
The House voted to pass out HB 1720 this week, which deals with the closure of certain records under Missouri’s Sunshine Law. The bill permits the closure of records containing individually identifiable information of minors aged 17 and under, held by a public governmental body like a city, town, village, or park board, except when such records are requested by the Division of Labor Standards within the Department of Labor and Industrial Relations.
The bill sponsor explained to the House members that this bill would serve as a significant step toward public safety, noting that it was crucial for protecting minors, as it closes certain documents containing individually identifiable information regarding minors, and protects the identities of children. The legislative measure passed with a bipartisan vote of 141-5.
Preventing Foreign Ownership of Land in Missouri
A bill seeking to prohibit any further foreign ownership of Missouri land is once again working its way through the Missouri legislature. This issue has gained prominence not only in Missouri but also at the national level and in other states. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, foreign individuals already hold an interest in over 43.4 million acres of U.S. agricultural land, constituting approximately 3.4 percent of the country’s agricultural land as of December 31, 2022, with a notable increase in foreign ownership observed over the past decade.
HB 1957 proposes further limiting foreign ownership to 0.5%. It necessitates reporting to the Department of Agriculture and the Attorney General 30 days before finalizing any sale or transfer of agricultural land by an alien or foreign business. Approval from the Attorney General is mandatory, and violations could result in court action and divestiture. The bill also mandates reporting changes in land usage, with exemptions for specific research or experimental land. Moreover, it prevents foreign businesses from identified foreign adversaries by the federal government from purchasing any land in the state, requiring adherence to the USA Patriot Act of 2001. The bill broadens enforcement responsibilities to include the Attorney General alongside the Department for requirements related to agricultural land owned by foreign entities.
Addressing the House Committee on Local Government, the bill sponsor emphasized the matter as a security concern, stating that the legislation aims to protect Missouri from potential adversarial or foreign threats while safeguarding one of the state’s crucial assets.
Working on your behalf,
Representative Chad Perkins
Proudly Serving the 40th House District
Pike and Lincoln Counties