California Senate Majority Leader Ellen M. Corbett has designed legislation to help lower the costs of textbooks and ease the financial burden of higher education for college students. Earlier in the year, two other textbook affordability bills were passed in the California State Senate and sent to the State Assembly.

Corbett’s legislation, Senate Bill 1539, requires publishers of textbooks used in higher education courses to inform professors and purchasers of the differences in the textbooks from previous editions. They must also provide information on all the products they offer on the same topic.

The goal of the legislation is to provide professors and purchasers with vital information about course materials and the alternatives that are available. The information would allow professors and students to know whether purchasing an expensive new edition is necessary for the course or if a less expensive option, such as a previous edition or a different textbook, would be acceptable. With a reduced reliance on new edition textbooks, the bill would also help provide a market for used textbooks, allowing students to recover some of the textbook cost by reselling it at the end of the course.

Recently, SB 1539 passed both the Assembly Higher Education Committee and the California State Senate, and it will now move onto the State Assembly floor.

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