Senator Bill Larkin (R-C, Cornwall-on-Hudson) is cosponsoring legislation (S.6804) in the State Senate to ensure that college and university students in New York State will have better access to affordable textbooks.
Known in Albany as the "Textbook Pricing and Access Act," the bill outlines the responsibility of publishers to disclose to campus faculty members the costs of textbooks, supplemental materials, and bundled materials. In turn, the bill mandates that faculty members must inform the publisher or bookstore of the earliest edition of a textbook that students can purchase. Bookstores would also be obligated to provide a listing through websites and/or postings on campuses of those materials ordered to give students ample time to purchase materials. The bill would also prohibit employees of higher learning institutions from receiving any compensation for requiring students to purchase certain materials, so as to not be influenced by publishers.
"The average cost of textbooks per student enrolled in a four-year college in 2003-04 was $898.00," said Senator Larkin. "Some estimates suggest that the practice of book bundling, which is requiring students to also buy accompanying CD’s or workbooks for example, costs students 30% more than if they only have to buy the textbook. The sale of these materials to students must be fair and balanced. This bill will help students better prepare for some of these costly investments."