First of all, it does not take students that long to find cheap books. See, there's this thing called the Internet that has really sped up shopping. Students normally get a syllabus the first day of class (or a week or so earlier if they are really eager) then they get online and hunt down the cheapest versions they can find. Really, it's just that simple. They do not need additional legislation to help them save money. They are well aware that every penny not spent on educational materials can be spent on their social lives. That is incentive enough to be frugal. Not to mention that fact that at Albany, at least, students change courses so many times before and during the start of the semester that they are not going to purchase any books until they've settled on their schedules.
Secondly, this law now forces faculty at my institution to place their orders at the official campus bookstore, run by one of the big book distributors (Barnes & Noble, I think), although many of us prefer to use the small, alternative bookstore because they are often cheaper and more efficient. Of course, we can still use the other bookstore, but we must use the campus one as well. That's a convenient way to create a monopoly.
Third, this law is entirely ignorant of the way faculty work to design and update courses. Even if I were super-organized and prepared my Spring 2010 syllabus by October 1, 2009, as is now required, it locks me into reading material that I may decide is not ideal by the time the semester starts in late January and it precludes me from adding new material that I may find in those four months, not to mention that it takes time away from my obligations for the current semester. Reading selections are very time consuming and we're now sacrificing quality of education for ... what, exactly?