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July 24, 2012 > Governor signs legislation to help reduce study materials cost

Governor signs legislation to help reduce study materials cost

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 has been signed into law by Governor Jerry Brown. The bill takes effect January 1, 2013.

Senate Bill 1539 requires publishers of text books used in higher education to inform professors and purchasers of the differences in the text books from previous editions and also of all the products they offer on the same topic. Without the availability of this information, professors and others, who are charged with selecting the textbook to use for a college class, often do not know about the alternatives.

This information will let professors and students know whether purchasing an expensive new edition is necessary for a class or if a less expensive option, such as a previous edition or a different book, will suffice. By reducing reliance on new editions, the bill also helps provide a market for used books, allowing students to recoup more of their book buying costs by selling their books after using them for class.

"This legislation is one logical way to help lower the cost of text books so college students on tight budgets can stay in school," Corbett said. "The high cost of college text books now forces many students to choose between paying their utility bills or buying the materials they need for class; that's not the way it should be."

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