ALBANY, NY (WENY)--THE EMPIRE STATE’S PROCUREMENT LAWS HAVEN’T CHANGED IN OVER 50 YEARS.  

BUT legislation—NICKNAMED THE ‘GOOD FOOD NEW YORK BILL’-- AWAITING GOV. KATHY HOCHUL’S REVIEW COULD CHANGE THIS.  
 
SOME ADVOCATES SAid THE STATE’S CURRENT LAWS AROUND PURCHASING FOOD FOR PUBLIC INSTITUTIONS ARE VERY RESTRICTIVE—REQUIRING LOCAL GOVERNMENTS AND INSTITUTIONS TO CHOOSE THE LOWEST BIDDER FOR FOOD PURCHASING.  
THIS PRESENTS MANY BARRIERS FOR NUTRITION, ANIMAL WELFARE, RACIAL EQUITY, WORKERS’ RIGHTS AND MORE.  
 
“To date public institutions have had into their procurement processes built in this process of selecting the lowest bidder so they’ve never really had the legal mechanisms within their procurement channels to actually build in these values,” said Ribka Getachew, director of the New York Good Food Purchasing Campaign at Community Food Advocates. 
 
IF SIGNED THE BILL WOULD ALLOW LOCAL MUNICIPALITIES THE FLEXIBILITY TO CHOOSE OTHER BIDDERS BESIDES THE LOWEST ONE.  
 
THE IDEA BEHIND IT IS TO ENCOURAGE FOOD PURCHASING WITH tHAT FALLS IN LINE WITH THE VALUES OF LOCAL ECONOMIES.
 
ADVOCATES SAid THE LEGISLATION WOULD ALSO BE GOOD FOR THE ENVIRONMENT, RACIAL EQUITY, WORKFORCE CONSIDERATIONS, FARMERS, AND NUTRITION.  
 
SOME LAWMAKERS SAid THIS COULD HAVE A SIGNIFICANT IMPACT FOR PUBLIC SCHOOLS.  
 
“For me this is about making sure that every student in New York has access to a high-quality meal when they’re going to school because we know when kids eat well, they can learn better,” said Sen. Jeremy Cooney (D-56th Senate District).
 
LAWMAKERS ARE HOPING TO SEE THE Governor SIGN THIS BILL INTO LAW.  
 
“I’m hopeful the Governor will give it a positive consideration, she’s been very supportive of the farming industry—a large part of our economy in New York state and this can only help build upon that,” said Assembly Member John McDonald (D-Assembly District 108).
 
GETACHEW STRESSED THAT IF THE BILL IS SIGNED, IT COULD SET A PRECEDENT FOR THE REST OF THE COUNTRY TO FOLLOW.