House bills signed into law by Gov. Haley Barbour this week include:

n House Bill 1456. The legislation calls for the state and county medical examiners to be medical doctors certified in forensic pathology by the American Board of Pathology.

However, someone without those credentials can handle autopsies if a board-certified pathologist isn’t available “within a reasonable time.” The new law takes effect July 1.

n House Bill 1681. The new law says Mississippi can provide up to $17 million in loan guarantees to sweet potato farmers.

Barbour signed the bill on Wednesday, and it became law immediately.

The Mississippi Development Authority can extend the loan guarantees to sweet potato farmers who had disaster-related losses in 2009. Those seeking the state aid must apply by Aug. 1.

n House Bill 664. The legislation sets up a Silver Alert system to notify the public and the authorities when an elderly person or someone with dementia or other cognitive impairment goes missing. The bill becomes law July 1.