Last year, bills were introduced in several state legislatures but none passed. Lobbyists working on behalf of OEMs have found the bills, arguing they present consumer safety and cybersecurity concerns. But in December, those aligned with the movement got a boost when Consumer Reports released a model right-to-repair bill. And now, the right-to-repair legislation has either been introduced or is currently being drafted in 16 states this year: Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota, Virginia, Washington and West Virginia. But while they have been introduced, it’s still too early to know if they’ll gain traction
“We expect that by March we’ll have 20 or more bills in the works,” Gay Gordon-Byrne, executive director of repair advocacy group The Repair Association, told E-Scrap News.
Right-to-repair bills require OEMs to make available the information, tools and parts that allow consumers and independent shops to repair consumer electronics. The law could aid electronic processors in the repair and refurbishment of mobile devices so they can be sold for reuse, as opposed to shredded and sold for commodities recovery.
A group called R2R Solutions is opposing the bills, maintaining a nationwide bill tracker on its websites. The group is backed by members of the farm equipment industry, including the Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM), Equipment Dealers Association (EDA) and a coalition of other equipment-industry groups.
Gordon-Byrne said it will become clear in a few more weeks which states are advancing the bills. “Very early to tell but we expect, based on last year, that several will be approved by committee – at which point lobbyists in opposition will put out all the stops to block any floor votes,” she said.