A N.H. legislative committee has narrowly given a thumbs-down to a watered-down version of a “right-to-repair” law, continuing the trend of lawmakers in the Live Free or Die state saying people shouldn’t be free to fiddle with things they buy.
The bill would require home appliance manufacturers to make certain repair-related documentation, parts and tools available to independent repair shops and the people who buy the appliances. It was given an “inexpedient to legislate” tag (that is, a recommendation to not become law) by the House Commerce Committee on a party line vote: The 10 Republicans opposed the bill and the 8 Democrats supported it.
More sweeping versions of this bill have been killed in past years. This one only applied to home appliances, sidestepping concerns about the effect on medical equipment or lawn tractors.
I didn’t cover the hearing, held over Zoom, but the arguments followed past patterns. Supporters said it’s only fair to let people decide what to do with the stuff they buy, and that making it impossible fills landfills and wastes consumer money. Opponents painted a picture of fumble-thumbed amateurs killing themselves trying to fix their washing machines. That was the essence of arguments over a broader right-to-repair bill in 2019 as I reported at the time. One opposition argument that didn’t seem to come up this time is that government shouldn’t interfere with private business.
The bill can still survive in this or other form but an ITL committee recommendation usually means the full House will kill it.
The only way this bill progresses is for New Hampshire people to tell their legislators they want to fix their stuff. Easy way to do it is at repair.org and our “stand up” page.
If you own it you should be able to repair it if you want. If you stop providing schematics and parts to repair your own purchases will stop the sale of these products. I will not buy something knowing I will not be ALLOWED to repair it. This is the difference between the have and the have nots.This is discriminating against the repair industry.Parts and information should be available to those that want to repair.
i don’t get the Republican solid majority against this. It seems like a thing they would support. It is always important to them to let people kill themselves if that is what they want to do (no masks, jack up the speed limits, treat OSHA like a joke, etc.), so why the heck are they worried about us endangering ourselves with our toasters? Suddenly they sound like the nanny state.
Maybe revealing themselves as pro BIG business, not pro business. Or something.