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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Textbook price bill improved

    PHOENIX – A bill in the state Legislature aimed to garner more price disclosure for the faculty who choose textbooks has “”teeth”” again.

    At least that’s what students said yesterday after the state Senate amended SB 1175 and slashed language that said textbook publishers were required to provide information on previous text editions and prices on request.

    Now the bill states that publishers need to comply with policies as set forth by the Arizona Board of Regents or the state’s community colleges, so the responsibility is taken out of the state’s hands and put into school systems, said Sen. Tom O’Halleran, R-Tucson, who proposed the amendment.

    The amendment is a prime example of how student involvement can make a difference, said Michael Slugocki, a political science senior and vice chair of the Arizona Students’ Association, which helped draft the initial legislation.

    “”I think it’s great,”” he said. “”We are seeing state senators speaking up for students.””

    Slugocki said he hopes the bill will get passed the way it is now.

    “”It’s been quite a battle so far,”” he said. “”I hope it gets passed with the teeth and the power.””

    The new amendment complements the work students have done on making textbooks more affordable for the past three years, said Tiffany Troidl, director of ASA.

    “”Students have made a difference on this bill,”” she said.

    Students started at the school level by talking to faculty, staff and the bookstores and have gone all the way to the state level with the legislation, Troidl said.

    Students are also the reason why O’Halleran proposed the floor amendment to take out the “”on request”” language in the bill.

    “”O’Halleran stepped up to the plate and took a lead role in helping students make the bill better,”” Troidl said.

    Two pieces of legislation are currently making their way through the House and the Senate. A second bill is calling for more textbook price disclosure by publishers in the faculty selection process and has been amended several times.

    The House Higher Education Committee passed HB 2230 on Feb. 19 with amended language for publishers to provide price and edition information “”on request.””

    The Senate and the House passed the same “”on request”” amendments.

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