Connecticut lawmakers seek to expand access to digital books

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HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — A bill has cleared the House of Representatives that attempts to expand the availability of free or less-expensive digital textbooks for Connecticut college students.

The legislation, which passed 144-0 on Tuesday, requires UConn and the Board of Regents for Higher Education to create pilot programs access so-called "open-source" textbooks, which are college-level textbooks licensed under a royalty-free license and made available to students, faculty and the public for free or a minimal cost.

The bill, which also requires a task force study, moves to the Senate.

Storrs Rep. Greg Haddad said students on average spend about $1,200 a year on textbooks in Connecticut. He said Housatonic Community College recently conducted its own pilot program and discovered a traditional algebra textbook that sells for $300 could be found online for $30.

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