Schwarzenegger signs textbook act

Textbooks may be cheaper next semester because of a bill Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger signed Saturday.

Assemblyman Jose Solorio, D-Santa Ana, wrote the College Textbook Transparency Act, which was one of two bills aimed at lowering the cost of textbooks for students, said A.S. Bookstore Director Steve Dubey.

“Both bills are trying to give faculty the most information to make an informed decision,” Dubey said.

The transparency act requires publishers to state the edition changes in new books when they print them and to tell instructors the prices of books when they are requested, Dubey said. College bookstores must also release information on their

pricing policies.

Schwarzenegger signed the act instead of the College Textbook Affordability Act, which would have had the same standards but also required posting edition changes online and listing pricing information without request.Neither bill outlined what would happen to publishers if they did not follow the new rules, Dubey said.

“They’re subtle,” he said. “There isn’t any teeth on them, so to speak.

Textbook studies have shown legislation is generally ineffective at lowering prices, he said.

“It won’t accomplish what we ultimately hope it would,” Dubey said. “They’re basically feel-good bills.”

But students are still hoping the newly approved bill will help with textbook costs.