ALBANY, N.Y. (WTEN) — Repairing digital devices just got that much easier here in New York. The state is the first in the nation to pass legislation that will help digital repair shops get the parts you need.
The Right to Repair law requires original equipment manufacturers to provide diagnostics and repair information to independent repair shops. This means rather than heading to places like Apple to get your device fixed, you can head to a nearby repair store instead.
The bill passed in both the Senate and the Assembly but not before adjustments were made to take home appliances and farm equipment out of the bill.
Sponsor of the bill, Assemblywoman Pat Fahy says 27 states have been trying to get similar legislation passed. She says this is a huge success for New York and the future of electronic waste, “And if we were to just hold onto our phones for one more year, just one more year. It would be the equivalent of taking over 600,000 cars off the road each year.”
Fahy says she believes legislation like this will eventually be passed on a federal level as well. “We’ve got to stop monopolistic practices, allow small businesses to do this, allow school districts to be able to repair their equipment and find this consumer savings, and they estimate anywhere from three to $400,000 a year consumers could save,” she said.
Louis Rossman, owner of Rossman Repair Group, has been fighting for this legislation for eight years and explains the hurdles his business currently goes through to get the parts they need.
“This industry really does rely on the kindness of strangers in other countries to go through ya know, dumpsters where things may be getting thrown out, take PC boards that were discarded, take chips off of them and then sell them to people like me. If we could actually buy those chips and get those schematics from the company directly it allows us to say yes to things we’d otherwise say no to.” he said.
Reports show the repair industry estimates a 400% growth in repair shops. The bill still needs to be signed by the Governor, but Assemblywoman Fahy says the new law should be implemented within the next 6 months.