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Budget item would end ban on foreign ownership of over 640 acres in Wisconsin

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MADISON, WI (WTAQ) - Wisconsin lawmakers are being asked to let foreigners own large amounts of land for the first time in 126 years.

Governor Scott Walker’s proposed state budget would end a ban on foreign ownership of more than 640 acres.

Some of Walker’s own Republicans don’t like the idea. That includes Westby Representative Lee Nerison. He said the issue should be debated on its own merits in a separate bill, and not be buried in the state budget.

Governor’s spokesman Cullen Werwie says the current state law is in conflict with a treaty adopted by the World Trade Organization 18 years ago. The treaty was designed to stabilize international service trading.

According to the U.S. Farm Service Agency, about 118,000 acres of private land in Wisconsin is already held by foreign owners

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