A bill that would establish Fair Repair standards in Nebraska law will have a hearing this week.
LB1072, introduced by Sen. Ken Haar (LD21), would require the manufacturers of everything from cell phones to tractors to provide the purchaser and/or independent repair technicians with documents, diagnostic software, and other information that would allow the equipment to be repaired without having to return it to an Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) or dealer for repair.
The bill promotes competition, eliminates monopolies, and provides consumers with alternatives to expensive repairs and unfair practices that are protected by current law. Currently, OEM dealers and their licensed repair centers see no competing businesses that could potentially draw customers away or keep repair prices at a reasonable level.
In the case of tractors, for example, independent repair technicians cannot perform work on anything installed with a digital chip, and neither can the tractor owner. Doing so can void the warranty, so farmers must take their equipment to dealers for what can be costly repairs. Since there is no competition from independent repair technicians, farmers are at the mercy of the dealers when it comes to price and scheduling. Farmers who live further from a dealer or licensed repair center can incur larger costs and waste more time than if they could repair their equipment themselves or hire a local mechanic.
LB 1072 would also help to eliminate waste, because in many cases it is more cost-effective for the owner of a device to just throw broken equipment away and purchase a new one than it is to have repairs performed. This contributes significantly to the amount of electronic waste generated by Americans each year.
The bill includes a provision that would not require OEM’s to divulge trade secrets, and the bill excludes motor vehicle manufacturers.
Nebraska is the 4th state to bring forth a Fair Repair bill in the past couple of years. Other states such as Massachusetts, Minnesota, and New York have enacted or are pursuing similar legislation.
The bill would establish these requirements for all equipment, and would eliminate the problem of having to pass laws for each sector of industry one at a time.
The hearing for LB1072 will be before the Judiciary Committee on Thursday, February 25th at 1:30 PM in hearing room 1113.
NEW: To listen to a podcast of Kenny Roelofsen of Abilene Machine discussing Fair Repair, click this link: https://www.podbean.com/media/share/pb-s4388-5d62dd#.VuFl-WMZonU.facebook
To see 10/11 News coverage of the bill hearing, click this link: http://www.1011now.com/content/news/Bill-to-allow–370203221.html
To listen to a in interview with Gay Gordon-Byrne, the Executive Director of the Repair Association, click here: http://www.podbean.com/media/share/pb-p45ei-5cc045/download
For more information on Fair Repair, visit www.repair.org.
Attend the hearing before the Judiciary Committee on Thursday, February 25th at 1:30 PM in hearing room 1113.
Send a message to your state senator about why you support Fair Repair in Nebraska, visit this link: https://nebraska.repair.org (you must be a Nebraska resident to use the message function on this site).
Contact members of the Judiciary Committee and let them know that you support Fair Repair in Nebraska, and they should vote for LB1072.
Members of the Judiciary Committee are:
Sen. Ernie Chambers Phone: (402) 471-2612