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June 2012 Group Watch: News & Views from the State House

Summer is here and session is out, but the Governor’s still staying busy.

Governor Signs Bill to Get Schools to Buy Locally: Governor Robert Bentley has signed into law a bill designed to make it easier for local farmers to sell produce to the state’s public schools. The Farm to School Procurement Act requires the state Agriculture Department and the State Department of Education to investigate the potential for schools to purchase local farm products. The new law also calls for schools to provide training to lunchroom staff on how to prepare the fresh food. The bill’s sponsor says the law will help children receive healthier meals and provide farmers with a new market to sell their produce.

Governor Promotes Homeowner’s Insurance Laws: Governor Bentley recently visited the Gulf Coast to promote new laws designed to make homeowner’s insurance more affordable after hurricanes drove up prices. One new law provides tax credits to insurance companies that write policies in certain areas of the state’s two coastal counties, Baldwin and Mobile. Another of the new laws allows Alabama-based companies to make new out-of-state investments, which is supposed to make operating in Alabama more attractive. One of the laws allows a homeowner to cancel a roofing contract within 10 days of signing the contract if the homeowner’s insurance company says it will not cover part or all of the cost. Insurance companies will be required to provide certain cost and rate information to the state Insurance Department, who will make it available online.

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