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  • Writer's pictureCody Harris

Protecting Texas agricultural land


Uniting to preserve ag land in Texas



Representatives Matt Shaheen, Jacey Jetton, Cody Harris and Angie Chen Button pose on the House floor with a copy of HB 1075.


State reps unite to protect Texas agricultural land


Farms and ranches across the State of Texas are the target of foreign countries and that is why I authored HB 1075—to prevent them from acquiring Texas agricultural lands and protect our resources. According to the U. S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) 2021 report, there are currently over 40 million acres of our agricultural land in the U.S. owned by foreign nations and investors. At this rate, it will accelerate to an average of 2.2 million acres purchased per year.


This must stop.


State Representatives Angie Chen Button and Jacey Jetton have joined me in the effort to pass HB 1075 and outlaw this practice. Under HB 1075, all individuals and American-owned businesses will maintain their right to purchase ag lands in the State of Texas. The legislation would apply to foreign governments or government-controlled entities who are attempting to purchase land that is designated agricultural by tax code.


This bill seeks to protect our famers and ranchers, and ultimately, our food and fiber supply.


Currently there are 17 other states in the US with prohibitions on foreign ownership of agricultural land.




Representative Harris participated in a panel discussion for the Water for Texas conference on Jan. 25 in Austin.


Water Caucus


With a history of working to protect our state’s natural resources during my time on the Natural Resources committee, I am excited to join the Texas House Water Caucus.


The newly-formed bipartisan group will be led by Rep. Tracy King as we work to make sure state lawmakers are keenly aware of ongoing water security issues. We must have the resources available to meet the needs of our ever-growing citizenship.


Our state is plagued by aging infrastructure—much of which is in rural communities that do not have the resources necessary to repair or replace them. Solutions are imperative. The caucus intends to elevate water as a policy priority.


On January 25, I participated in a panel at the 2023 Water for Texas conference in Austin. Our in-depth discussion is one of many to come to find creative strategies to meet the challenges ahead.


The panel talked about creating revolving funds, working on flood mitigation, public and private partnerships and desalination options for solving ongoing water issues. We intend to advocate for surplus dollars being used in these efforts and will seek bills that incorporate effective plans to meet the needs.


HB 1607: Protecting students from CRT


During the 87th legislative session we successfully banned Critical Race Theory from being taught in our K-12 classrooms. This week I filed HB 1607 to extend this protection to our institutions of higher learning. This bill will stop the teaching of CRT in our colleges and universities. Any Texas school not in compliance would lose state funding. We must protect our children from progressive indoctrination and this is the next logical step.



Speaker of the House Dade Phelan and State Rep Cody Harris shake hands during the first week of the 88th Legislative session.


Coming soon


Speaker of the House Dade Phelan will be announcing committee assignments and chairmanships sometime in the next week or two. We look forward to this news and the opportunities it will afford us to continue working for constituents in HD8.


Resources


You can keep track of legislation, bill analyses, witness lists and committee hearings from both the House and Senate sides here.


In addition to these online sources, you can also call the Legislative Reference Library's Bill Status Hotline at (877) 824-7038.


Staff for the 88th Legislative Session

Jeff Carlson - Chief of Staff

Amy French - District Director

Robert Moncada - Legislative Director

Harrison Salter - Legislative Intern

Tyler Coover - Legislative Intern


Get in touch

Capitol Number: (512) 463-0730

District Number: (903) 731-4005

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