Kansas Lawmakers Target Foreign Adversaries in Security Bills

The House of Representatives has taken steps to address potential national security threats from deemed “of concern,” including , Cuba, , , , and Venezuela. Three bills were given initial approval, targeting foreign-made drones, investments, and property ownership, reports The Kansas Reflector.

House Divided on Perceived Threats

House Republicans argued that the bills were necessary to protect Kansas from potential dangers posed by the targeted countries. However, Democrats questioned the severity of the threat and the effectiveness of the proposed measures.

Controversy Over Drone Legislation

SB 271, which aims to prohibit government agencies from using drones with components or software from the listed countries, drew criticism from Rep. John Carmichael (D-Wichita). He expressed concern about the lack of evidence confirming the presence of spyware or other nefarious activities in foreign-manufactured drones.

Rep. Shawn Tarwater (R-Stilwell) dismissed Carmichael's remarks, emphasizing the need for solutions rather than arguments. “The threat is real. There are some people in this room who know exactly what will happen and how close we are to it happening, but they can't speak to it because it's top secret information,” Tarwater said.

Restricting Foreign Property Ownership

SB 172 seeks to prohibit citizens or residents of “countries of concern” from acquiring interest in nonresidential real property within 150 miles of military installations in Kansas or adjacent states. Attorney General Kris Kobach appreciated the House's efforts but warned that the bill's current form might be difficult to defend in court.

Rep. Jason Probst (D-Hutchinson) expressed discomfort with provisions allowing reporting of suspected violators and the potential for forced divestiture of land. “A lot of bad things in our history have begun with fear,” Probst cautioned.

Divestment from Countries of Concern

SB 37, sponsored by Rep. Nick Hoheisel (R-Wichita), would require state-managed funds to divest from “countries of concern” within two years. The bill aims to align Kansas' investments and contracts with national security interests and move resources away from regimes that violate human rights and threaten international stability.

The Kansas House's approval of these bills highlights the growing concern over potential threats from foreign adversaries. While proponents argue that the measures are necessary for national security, critics question the perceived dangers and the potential consequences of the proposed legislation. As the bills move forward, the debate over balancing security concerns with individual rights and international relations is likely to continue.

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Haye Kesteloo
Haye Kesteloo

Haye Kesteloo is the Editor in Chief and Founder of DroneXL.co, where he covers all drone-related news, DJI rumors and writes drone reviews, and EVXL.co, for all news related to electric vehicles. He is also a co-host of the PiXL Drone Show on YouTube and other podcast platforms. Haye can be reached at haye @ dronexl.co or @hayekesteloo.

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