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Lawmakers Sign Off On Bill To Require Colleges To Study Textbook Affordability

Brian Bull

Oregon lawmakers want the state’s college and universities to get serious about making sure that textbooks are affordable. They're advancing a measure that would require schools to create a plan to bring down the cost of textbooks, which can add up to hundreds of dollars a semester.

Credit Brian Bull / KLCC

Under House Bill 2213, each school would have to set a target amount of savings that would result from the plan, and seek student input on how to meet that goal.

“As we know, college is expensive," said Sen. Sara Gelser, D-Corvallis. "As I’ve learned the past couple of years, with my two daughters in college and a third going next year, so are textbooks. And they come over and over and over again.”

The bill passed the House and Senate with little opposition and now goes to Governor Kate Brown.

An earlier version of the measure would have required schools to tell students what textbooks would be required before they register for a class. But that section was dropped at the request of a lobbyist for the state’s seven public universities.

Copyright 2019 KLCC

Chris Lehman has been reporting on Oregon issues since 2006. He joined the KLCC news department in December, 2018. Chris was born and raised in Pennsylvania, and graduated from Temple University with a degree in journalism. His public broadcasting career includes stops in Louisiana and Illinois. Chris has filed for national programs including “Morning Edition” and “All Things Considered.”