Governor signs Van Werven legislation making textbook costs more transparent into law

A measure prime-sponsored by Rep. Luanne Van Werven that will provide community and technical college (CTC) students with the costs of required textbooks and course materials before they sign up for class was signed by the governor on Friday.

Van Werven, R-Lynden, says the students were instrumental in getting House Bill 1375 through the legislative process.

“Every student group I met with, whether it was during the interim or the legislative session, has expressed legitimate concerns about textbook costs,” said Van Werven. “They were very involved in the legislative process and the colleges were on board as well.”

“Thanks to the leadership of Rep. Van Werven our community and technical college students in Washington state will gain a better knowledge of what their class costs are and will be able to make more informed decisions about their academic pathway,” said Arlen Harris, legislative director of the state board of community and technical colleges.

Under the legislation, CTCs must also indicate in the online course catalogs whether open educational resources (OERs) are used once the college implements the ctcLink system.

Studies show the costs of textbooks have increased 88 percent from 2006 to 2016.

“I am pleased my bill has been signed into law as it adds some transparency to textbook costs, but a lot of work remains on affordability and accessibility issues for higher education. I will continue to focus on those areas in the coming sessions,” Van Werven said.

The Legislature is scheduled to adjourn the regular legislative session on Sunday, April 23.


Washington State House Republican Communications