Students Join Governor Walz For Textbook Bill Signing
written by | Thomas Anderson, Director of Government Relations
“It was such an exhilarating feeling to experience the signing of such an important bill with Governor Walz. This bill will undoubtedly have an unprecedented impact on higher education in Minnesota and significantly alleviate the burden of textbook affordability on Minnesota College and University students. This is a step of monumental proportion on the verge of providing an affordable college education in Minnesota and I am honored to be involved.” — State Chair Ola Abimbola
Yesterday, thanks to an invite from Representative Dan Walgamott, our student leaders had the opportunity to attend a bill signing with Governor Walz. This bill, which was carried by Representative Wolgamott as part of the Higher Education Omnibus Bill, appropriates $500,000 over the next two years for the development of programs that will expand the use of open education textbooks in Minnesota State colleges and universities. This bill also instates additional textbook transparency requirements that will help students make the best financial choice when purchasing textbooks, and requires that MinnState give a detailed report on the total number of classes using open education textbooks and the total amount of student textbook savings that have resulted from the newly instituted open textbook program.
Thank you to Representative Dan Walgamott for inviting us to the bill signing this morning. Thank you Governor Walz for your commitment to higher education. Thank you to all of the faculty who supported this work, and thank you to every student who stood up and spoke out about the challenges our students face. Without dedicated students, faculty, and elected representatives, this legislation would not have been possible. Textbook cost is a significant barrier for our university students, and this bill represents a dedication from our state leadership to begin addressing this issue in real way.
We are appreciative of the strides that are being made and we look forward to working with Minnesota State to assist in the implementation of the new open textbook program. Students United is excited for the momentum that this bill gives us, and we are ready to continue our college affordability advocacy work as we enter the new academic year.