A Right to Repair bill that would give everyone the information, parts, and tools they need to fix their electronic devices passed in the New York State Senate, the first such bill to pass in the country. Kevin Purdy writes via iFixit: At a virtual session, the Senate approved S4104 by a margin of 51 to 12. Normally the next step would be a vote on an identical bill in the state’s Assembly. But Thursday is the last day of session for the NY legislature, and the bill has not yet escaped committee, making a vote by the full Assembly unlikely. The battle for fair repair in New York will continue into next year’s session, with a strong record of success. But don’t get the wrong idea — this is big. This shows that Right to Repair has real support when the issue gets an actual vote, despite the efforts of tech manufacturers’ lobbyists.
Sen. Philip Boyle, a Republican from Bay Shore on Long Island and the bill’s original sponsor, said at Thursday’s session that the Digital Fair Repair Act both protected consumers from monopolistic companies and curtailed e-waste. Customers can fix their own “smartphones, tablets, and farm equipment,” Boyle said. Or, if they have “no technical skills at all, like me,” they can turn to local repair shops and reuse programs to avoid simply tossing things out, Boyle said. While time is likely to run out on the Assembly bill, New Yorkers can still tell their representatives to move next year’s bill to a vote, and to vote yes. A U.S. PIRG survey found that New Yorkers would save a collective $2.4 billion per year by fixing electronics instead of replacing them. The average family stands to save $330 per year, and help curtail the 655,000 tons of e-waste generated in New York each year.