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May 4, 2012 > Bill to help reduce cost of college textbooks passes committee

Bill to help reduce cost of college textbooks passes committee

Submitted By Andrew LaMar

Legislation by Senate Majority Leader Ellen M. Corbett (D-San Leandro) designed to help lower the costs of textbooks for college students passed the Senate Education Committee on April 23, 2012.

Senate Bill 1539 requires publishers of textbooks used in higher education to inform purchasers of the differences in the textbooks from previous editions and also of all the products they offer on the same topic.

This information would let professors and students know whether purchasing an expensive new edition is necessary for a class or if a less expensive alternative, such as a previous edition or a different book, would suffice.

"The cost of higher education has skyrocketed in recent years and many students are struggling to pay for college," Corbett said. "This legislation is a common-sense approach that helps students on shoestring budgets afford the books they need."

"Textbooks are a vital resource students deserve if they are to truly make the most of their education and self-actualize properly," said Justin Gross, a University of California, Davis, student who testified at the committee's hearing. "While I am sure they (publishers) are perfectly nice people, it continues to baffle me why a re-ordered table of contents and a shiny new binding warrant an additional $50, $60, or sometimes $100 on the price tag."

The bill moves next to the Senate Floor.

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