Senator Berman, District 26 — Press Release
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 20, 2023
Clint Streicher, 850.717.5093
Senator Lori Berman and Representative Katherine Waldron File Bill to Block Chinese Communist Party Investments in Florida’s Strategic Assets
Last week, Senator Lori Berman (D-Boca Raton) and Representative Katherine Waldron (D-Wellington) filed SB 924/HB 835. These bills will block the purchase or acquisition of real property by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and any related third party, in locations close to military bases and locations deemed to be strategic assets in the State of Florida.
This bill will in effect, protect our business industry, our national security, our agriculture sector and our tourists and residents from any potential covert influence of the CCP and their partners.
“With this bill, Florida will take a step forward in protecting American national security and ensuring that our military’s assets are protected from foreign surveillance. Passing this legislation is vital to countering the CCP’s troubling influence and unlawful surveillance,” said Senator Berman.
“This bill seeks to proactively protect our physical and strategic assets from being exploited or undermined by potential foreign adversaries. It will prevent these adversaries from exploiting their proximity to our strategic assets,” said Representative Waldron.
The CCP and their partners, has already successfully purchased more than $2 billion in land throughout the United States, or close to 200,000 acres. Some of this land is located close to our military bases. Without any legislation in place, the leadership in those states were often unable to halt these purchases.
Under this bill, strategic assets include: power plants, water treatment facilities, emergency operation centers, military bases, telecommunications towers, law enforcement facilities and other structures used for similar purposes or deemed strategic by the state.
This bill complements President Biden's recent Executive Order, signed September 22, 2022. This E.O. helps define additional national security factors for the Committee on Foreign Investment in the U.S. (CFIUS) to consider when evaluating transactions. This was done largely in response a growing bi-partisan concern in the government pertaining to preserving U.S. technological leadership, protecting American’s sensitive data and enhancing U.S. supply chain resilience.