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PNS Daily Newscast - October 21, 2020 

A new report sizes up swing states like Michigan; voters with disabilities face new obstacles in Election 2020.

2020Talks - October 21, 2020 

Democrats weigh boycotting the committee vote on Trump's Supreme Court nominee; and concerns over mail slowdowns in 10 battleground states.

It’s “Freshman Year” for New WA Textbook Law

September 4, 2007

Washington college students spend big bucks on textbooks every semester, but relief may be in sight, thanks to Washington's "College Textbook Transparency Act." The new state law is the first of its kind in the nation; it takes effect this fall, and was created to stem rising textbook costs.

Phil Jack, a community college professor in Auburn and Des Moines, testified on behalf of the law. He says the publishers who have contacted him are complying with the new requirements.

"They're professionals, and they're going to work within the guidelines that they have to work with. And they probably aren't going to be grousing about it front of me, because I'm the customer."

The Act requires publishers to disclose prices to Washington professors up front. The new law also allows college bookstores to break up "bundled" materials that go with the books, such as study guides, and sell them individually at lower prices. Jack believes it will help teachers keep their students' budgets in mind.

"The main reason we do what we do is because we want to help the students, and having the information available helps us to make better decisions."

Book prices have risen at four times the rate of inflation, and textbooks cost the typical college student about $900 per year.

Chris Thomas/John Robinson, Public News Service - WA