Mass. state capitol building in Boston.

Legislation addressing electronics repair has advanced in Massachusetts, among other states. | Real Window Creative / Shutterstock

More than 40 legislative proposals have been introduced across the country covering repair of a variety of equipment types, and electronics-focused bills remain active in at least nine states.

The Repair Association, which advocates on behalf of consumer repair protections, provided E-Scrap News with a list of right-to-repair bills that have been introduced in statehouses this year. All told, the organization is tracking legislation in at least 27 states.

Among other measures, right-to-repair legislation typically requires OEMs to provide consumers and independent repair shops with the parts, tools, equipment and information needed to fix specified devices. Proposals cover consumer electronics, medical equipment, agricultural machinery and more.

Gay Gordon-Byrne, executive director of The Repair Association, pointed to the growing activity as a positive sign for repair legislation, even though no state has passed consumer electronics-focused right-to-repair legislation into law.

“Opposition likes to claim that none of our bill has passed, but I look at our momentum and have a sense of inevitability,” Gordon-Byrne said. “We’ve had legislation considered in 40 states – and while not all 40 are active at any one time — it’s very telling that most bills are coming back year after year with more determined sponsors.”

“Arguments based on Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt (FUD) don’t hold up under scrutiny – which is why bills are coming back once legislators figure out they’ve been buffaloed,” she added.

The Repair Association identified the following electronics-focused bills as active:

Delaware legislators in December introduced House Bill 22, which moved through committee and was referred for a House floor vote. One committee member made a favorable recommendation, seven made neutral recommendations and one made an unfavorable recommendation.

Illinois lawmakers in February introduced House Bill 3061, which had its first reading in February and was assigned to the cybersecurity, data analytics and IT committee, which has not yet made a recommendation.

Massachusetts legislators introduced Senate Bill 166 and its companion House Bill 341, which “establish fair and reasonable terms for providing diagnostic, service or repair information and services for digital electronic products.” The bills were referred to committees on March 29, with no further movement so far.

Missouri lawmakers introduced House Bill 1118, which “changes the laws regarding consumer products so that certain individuals and businesses have a right to repair information from certain manufacturers.” The bill was read a first time on Feb. 9 and second time on Feb. 10, with no further action so far.

Minnesota legislators introduced House File 1156, the “Digital Fair Repair Act,” and its companion bill Senate File 2080. The House version was introduced in February and referred to committee, and the Senate version was introduced in March and referred to committee.

New Jersey lawmakers carried over Assembly 1482, the “Fair Repair Act,” from last year’s legislative session. It was initially introduced and referred to committee in January 2020.

New York legislators introduced Senate Bill 4104 and Assembly Bill 7006. The Senate version was referred to committee on Feb. 2, and the Assembly version was referred to committee on April 19.

Pennsylvania lawmakers introduced House Bill 1152, which creates regulations “relating to diagnosis, maintenance and repair of digital electronic equipment.” The bill was referred to a House committee on April 12.

Texas legislators on March 8 introduced House Bill 3198, which was referred to committee on March 19.

Other active repair legislation covers agricultural and medical equipment, but not consumer electronics.

Meanwhile, The Repair Association provided a list of several electronics right-to-repair bills that have stalled, are inactive or have an otherwise unknown status. These are include the following: Connecticut House Bill 5255 and House Bill 5826; Colorado House Bill 1199; Hawaii Senate Bill 564, House Bill 415 and House Bill 226; Maryland Senate Bill 412 and House Bill 84; Montana House Bill 175; Nevada Assembly Bill 221; Oklahoma House Bill 1011; Oregon House Bill 2698 and Washington House Bill 1212.

This year’s movement follows voter approval of an automotive-centered repair bill in Massachusetts last fall.

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