(GoRealNewsNow.com) – Colorado has become the first state in the nation to pass a “right to repair” law guaranteeing that farmers can fix their own tractors and combines.
The state’s right-to-repair bill was signed into law on Tuesday by Colorado’s Democrat Governor Jared Polis, AP News reported, as cited by Newsmax.
The new legislation obliges manufacturers to provide farmers wishing to repair their agricultural vehicles with the necessary manuals, tools, parts, and software.
The report points out that Colorado initiated the law after “a nationwide outcry from farmers” complaining that producers prevented them from fixing their tractors while forcing them to wait for days for authorized servicers.
The affected farmers have argued that while they await the servicers for their increasingly high-tech tractors, they might miss planting windows or see their crops destroyed by hailstorms.
“Farmers have had to wait three or four weeks to get repairs done to equipment when they can do repairs themselves. That’s just unfathomable,” commented Bill Midcap, whose son is a fifth-generation rancher on Colorado’s eastern plains.
At least ten other states have initiated right-to-repair laws, including Florida, Maryland, Missouri, New Jersey, Texas, and Vermont.
Colorado state Democrat Rep. Brianna Titone, the bill’s sponsor, and Dan Waldvogle, director of the Rocky Mountain Farmers Union, commented that the new legislation could become a launch pad for other states and even stimulate the adoption of a federal law on the matter.
A Republican lawmaker co-sponsored the Colorado bill, but it was advanced mainly by Democrats.
“The proposal left some GOP lawmakers stuck between their farming constituents pleading for the ability to repair their equipment and the manufacturers who vehemently opposed it,” the Associated Press commented.
Producers and dealerships have objected to the right-to-repair law, arguing that sharing information and tools with the formers would let the latter in a position to cause safety and environmental risks by “cranking up the horsepower and bypassing emissions controls.”
“Forcing a business to disclose trade secrets, software and jeopardize consumer safety is poor public policy,” said Republican state Rep. Matt Soper, who was concerned the bill would stifle technical innovation.
“This bill will save farmers and ranchers time and money and support the free market in repair… first in the nation!” Colorado’s Governor Polis said at the signing ceremony.
The bill’s proponents agreed it could allow owners to change tractors’ horsepower and emission controls. However, they insisted that farmers could do that anyway, and the practices remained illegal.
Two years ago, President Joe Biden directed the Federal Trade Commission to boost its enforcement of right-to-repair regulations.
What is your opinion? Do you believe farmers and ranchers should be able to repair their own equipment and that “right to repair” laws are needed? Share your thoughts by emailing [email protected]. Thank you.
BREAKING: Colorado becomes first state to pass "right to repair" law allowing farmers to fix their own equipment – AP
— Breaking911 (@Breaking911) April 25, 2023