Colorado Senate passes farm equipment Right to Repair bill

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DENVER – The Colorado State Senate passed the farm equipment right to repair bill, HB23-1011, which would require manufacturers of agricultural equipment to make available all materials needed to repair tractors and combines. The bill, sponsored by Senators Janice Marchman and Nick Hinrichsen, passed 25-8. It heads to the House for concurrence and is one step from being the first agricultural Right to Repair bill to make it to a governor’s desk.

A broad coalition supported the bill including CoPIRG, the Rocky Mountain Farmers Union, Colorado Corn Growers Association, Colorado Wool Growers Association, Colorado Association of Wheat Growers, Colorado Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association, Colorado Cattlemen’s Association and the National Federation of Independent Business.

Nationally, Colorado has become a leader in the Right to Repair space. Last year, Colorado passed a Right to Repair for wheelchairs bill, which went into effect in January.

In reaction to the Senate vote, the following statements were released:

“Let’s get this bill to the Governor’s desk so he can sign it. I’m proud Colorado is poised to be the first state to ensure farmers have access to the stuff they need to fix their equipment. For decades, if something you owned broke, you could fix it yourself, take it to an independent repair shop or go back to the dealer or manufacturer. Unfortunately, as more of our stuff, including agricultural equipment like tractors and combines, runs on software, manufacturers are able to lock us out, undermining the repair marketplace and leading to longer delays and inflated repair bills. Farmers should have the freedom to get their stuff fixed from whomever they trust.” – CoPIRG Executive Director Danny Katz

“Thanks to technological advancements in modern equipment, less than 2% of the U.S. population not only feeds the rest of the country but exports surplus to world markets. However, when this equipment breaks down, farmers and ranchers should have the ability to diagnose and repair their equipment themselves or through independent mechanics, not just through manufacturer authorized mechanics which are no longer located in small rural communities. Rocky Mountain Farmers Union applauds the passage of HB23-1011 by the Colorado Senate.” – Rocky Mountain Farmers Union President Chad Franke.

“Family farmers and ranchers, like the ones I represent, need all the help they can get, and this bill is a great first step. A broken tractor or combine during harvest season can be devastating, and makes an already difficult job that much harder. Farmers should be able to apply know-how and elbow grease to fix their own equipment instead of being forced to use an authorized dealer. I am thrilled that our bill to keep operations running smoothly and save Colorado ag producers critical time and money is moving forward.” – State Senator Janice Marchman.

“This bill gives farmers true ownership of their equipment. It allows them to retrieve data from their machines, and analyze it accordingly. It allows them to read diagnostics when things go wrong. It gives them the information they need to make a decision to fix their equipment themselves, contract an independent repairman, or call the licensed dealer. It puts them – literally and figuratively – back in the driver’s seat.” – State Senator Nick Hinrichsen.

staff | TPIN

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