HOUSE DOCKET, NO. FILED ON: 3/14/2012
HOUSE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . No. 4060
The Commonwealth of Massachusetts
In the Year Two Thousand Twelve
An Act RESOLVE providing for an investigation and study by a special commission relative to reducing the costs associated with the purchase of college textbooks.
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:
RESOLVED, SECTION 1. A special commission is hereby established to investigate and study the college textbook industry. The investigation and study shall include, but not be limited to, examining the costs of purchasing textbooks and study materials, reviewing information concerning offering a choice of lower cost texts, such as soft cover, one color and digital texts, exploring the effective use of E-textbooks, reviewing changes in editions and the cost savings related to maintaining a current edition over purchasing the most recent edition, encouraging colleges to implement comprehensive and controlled buy-back and book swap programs to reduce costs for students, providing incentives to those schools that offer such programs and expanding the information available to purchasers of textbooks so that faculty and students alike are provided with a complete view of all available textbooks for comparison purposes. The special commission shall also study the accessibility of textbooks and other source related materials for legally blind students. The commission shall consist of 13 members as follows: the house chair of the joint committee on higher education, or a designee; the senate chair of the joint committee on higher education, or a designee; the minority leader of the house, or a designee; the minority leader of the senate, or a designee; and 9 members to be appointed by the governor 1 of whom shall be from the University of Massachusetts, 1 of whom shall from the Council of Presidents of the Massachusetts State Universities, 1 of whom shall be from the Massachusetts Community Colleges Executive Office, 1 of whom shall be from the Association of Independent Colleges and Universities in Massachusetts, 2 of whom shall be representatives of the college textbook publishing industry with offices in the commonwealth, 1 of whom shall be a faculty member of a public higher education institution of in the commonwealth, 1 of whom shall be a college librarian, and 1 of whom shall be a student trustee of a public higher education institution in the commonwealth. The commission shall report to the general court the results of its investigation and study and its recommendations, if any, together with drafts of legislation necessary to carry its recommendations into effect, by filing the same with the clerk of the house of representatives on or before December 31, 2012.