130th Ohio General Assembly
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S. B. No. 151  As Introduced
As Introduced

127th General Assembly
Regular Session
2007-2008
S. B. No. 151


Senator Roberts 

Cosponsors: Senators Fedor, Morano 



A BILL
To enact sections 3346.01 to 3346.06 and 3346.10 of the Revised Code with respect to textbook pricing at state institutions of higher education.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF OHIO:
Section 1.  That sections 3346.01, 3346.02, 3346.03, 3346.04, 3346.05, 3346.06, and 3346.10 of the Revised Code be enacted to read as follows:
Sec. 3346.01.  As used in this chapter:
(A) "Bookstore" means any store affiliated or under contract with a state institution of higher education to sell materials to students that is in the business of selling textbooks, supplemental learning materials, bundled textbook packages, or other school-related supplies on or in the near vicinity of the campus of a state institution of higher education.
(B) "Bundled" means the packaging of a textbook and supplemental learning materials together to be sold for one price.
(C) "Publisher" means a publishing house, firm, or company that publishes, sells, or contracts for the sale of textbooks or other learning materials to state institutions of higher education or bookstores.
(D) "State institution of higher education" has the same meaning as in section 3345.011 of the Revised Code.
(E) "Supplemental learning materials" means learning materials used in teaching a course that supplement the primary textbook in any form, including another book, a workbook, or a CD-ROM.
Sec. 3346.02.  Beginning July 1, 2008, any publisher of textbooks in the United States desiring to offer textbooks for use by students attending a state institution of higher education, before the textbooks may be sold by a bookstore, shall provide, free of charge on a web site, all of the following:
(A) For each textbook, whether the textbook is bundled or is offered only as a textbook;
(B) If a textbook is not bundled, the price of the textbook;
(C) If a textbook is bundled, the price of the bundle and the price of each individual item in the bundle;
(D) All modifications to the textbook published within the last ten years and any planned modifications;
(E) All modifications to supplemental learning materials, bundled with a textbook or sold separately, within the last ten years and any planned modifications;
(F) The availability of alternative formats of the textbook and supplemental learning materials;
(G) The publisher's return policy.
Sec. 3346.03.  No bookstore shall do any of the following:
(A) Sell bundled materials unless that bookstore also sells each individual item in the bundle separately;
(B) Purchase for resale previously used textbooks or other learning materials at less than half the price at which the bookstore plans to resell the textbooks or materials;
(C) Offer for sale a textbook or any supplemental learning material not listed on the web site required under section 3346.02 of the Revised Code.
Sec. 3346.04.  Each state institution of higher education shall make available a minimum of two copies of all required textbooks and other required learning materials in each library used by students assigned the particular textbooks and materials.
Sec. 3346.05.  No professor, faculty member, instructor, or other employee of a state institution of higher education shall profit in any way from the sale of textbooks and other learning materials used in a class taught by that person, including royalties from authorship.
Sec. 3346.06.  A state institution of higher education shall not require students to use any textbook or supplemental learning material the publisher of which has not complied with section 3346.02 of the Revised Code with respect to the textbook or supplemental learning material.
Sec. 3346.10.  The Ohio board of regents shall do both of the following:
(A) Partner with state institutions of higher education to sponsor events to provide education for students, faculty, instructors, bookstores, and other interested parties on strategies for reducing the cost to students of textbooks and other learning materials;
(B) Develop and maintain an electronic publisher inquiry form that can be used by students, faculty, instructors, and other interested parties to request information from publishers. Once the board receives such a request, the board shall submit the inquiry to a publisher on behalf of the interested party.
Section 2.  The Ohio Board of Regents shall develop one or more pilot textbook rental projects to commence in the 2008-2009 academic year. The rental program shall be optional to students and shall be designed to be financially self-sustaining. The Board shall submit a report on a plan for the pilot project to the General Assembly in accordance with section 101.68 of the Revised Code not later than January 2, 2008. A campus or program that participates in a textbook rental pilot program may establish policies and procedures for the program and shall report annually to the General Assembly in accordance with section 101.68 of the Revised Code and to the Board of Regents with information on the procedures, savings, and participant feedback.
Section 3. The increasing cost of postsecondary education and the sharp increase in the price of textbooks, along with new and costly packaging techniques, puts a greater financial burden on students and threatens their opportunity for higher education. The purpose of this act is to ensure that every student in higher education is offered better and more timely access to affordable textbooks. It is the policy of this state that each state institution of higher education must find ways to decrease the cost of textbooks and other learning materials for students. Therefore, the General Assembly finds and declares all of the following:
(A) It is in the best interests of this state that high-quality course materials be available and affordable to students.
(B) It is critical that each student has access to all required textbooks prior to the start of classes.
(C) To deliver high-quality materials to students that are affordable, all of the following should occur:
(1) Textbook publishers should produce textbooks that are as inexpensive as possible without sacrificing educational quality.
(2) Textbook publishers should keep their products on the market for as long as possible without sacrificing educational quality, and textbooks should be revised only when the new content is significant.
(3) Textbook publishers should disclose to faculty and the public all products they sell, the price of each product, and how long they intend to produce each product.
(4) Textbook publishers should ensure that textbooks and supplementary items bundled together should also be available for purchase separately.
(5) Faculty should consider the least costly practices in assigning textbooks, consistent with educationally sound practices.
(6) Bookstores should work with faculty to review timeliness and processes for ordering and stocking textbooks, disclose textbook costs, and actively promote and publicize book buyback programs.
(7) State institutions of higher education should do everything possible to promote a vibrant used book market, including exchange programs, buyback programs, and textbook rental programs.
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