murphy books 042221SPRINGFIELD – As college-bound seniors receive their acceptance letters and prepare for the fall semester, State Senator Laura Murphy (D-Des Plaines) is seeking to create a task force dedicated to making textbooks and other course materials more affordable.

“After a year of remote learning and working, we have all become more familiar with the advantages of digital resources like e-books,” Murphy said. “As we look ahead to recovery, it’s important that we find out how these resources can supplement current initiatives like subscription and rental programs to help reduce the financial burden on college students and their families.”

The legislation would create the Course Materials Equitable Access and Affordability Study Task Force, which would research ways to save students money on course materials, examine digital learning materials in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, and publish its findings online.

Using these findings, the task force would identify best practices for colleges and universities with an eye toward improving affordability, ensuring access to required course materials by the first day of class, and securing better outcomes for students—especially minority, low-income and first-generation students.

“For working families, the cost of course materials—on top of tuition and other fees—can be a barrier to higher education,” Murphy said. “This task force can help schools make sure they are offering convenient, accessible and affordable ways for students to get the supplies they need to learn.”

Senate Bill 101 passed the Senate Wednesday and now heads to the House.