Gov. Jerry Brown Thursday signed legislation to give students access to free online textbooks for common undergraduate courses at California's public colleges and universities.
Senate Bills 1052 and 1053, by Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, D-Sacramento, call for the establishment of an online library of digital textbooks for 50 of the most widely taken lower-division courses at the University of California, California State University and state community colleges.
The bills, intended to reduce student costs, were approved on bipartisan votes in the Legislature.
Publishing companies that once objected to the bills eventually removed their opposition, and amendments removed a requirement that publishers provide free copies of textbooks in college libraries.
The Democratic governor also signed Assembly Bill 970, by Assemblyman Paul Fong, D-Cupertino, directing UC and CSU officials to consult students prior to any increase in student fees.