RELEASE: More than 5,700 New Yorkers call on Gov. Hochul to Sign Right to Repair

Media Contacts

ALBANY, N.Y. – A coalition of nonprofit consumer, public interest and environmental advocates announced Tuesday that they had collectively mobilized 5,773 New Yorkers to send messages to Gov. Kathy Hochul, calling on her to sign the landmark Right to Repair bill passed by the state Legislature in June (S.4104-A, Breslin / A.7006-B, Fahy). 

Groups including NYPIRG, U.S.PIRG, Consumer Reports, Sierra Club, the Story of Stuff Project, the Electronic Frontier Foundation and Environment New York have been working together to show the strong public support for action on the Right to Repair. The measure, which overwhelmingly passed the Assembly 147-2 and the Senate 59-4, was delivered to the governor on Dec. 16, meaning she has until Dec. 28 to sign or veto the measure. 

“New Yorkers want choice when it comes to fixing their costly digital devices – they want to save time and money and wherever possible protect the environment by reducing electronic waste.  Invariably, the immediate reaction from consumers to the bill is, ‘This is a no-brainer. I want to be able to fix the stuff I own locally,’” said NYPIRG General Counsel Russ Haven. 

“Consumer Reports’ research has found that 1 in 5 smartphone users replaced their phone sooner than they wanted to, because they weren’t able to find someone able to repair it,” said Chuck Bell, programs director, advocacy at Consumer Reports. “Our nationally representative survey finds that 77% of Americans support the Right to Repair. We urge Gov. Kathy Hochul to approve the Digital Fair Repair Act with no weakening amendments, to ensure that users of digital devices have more affordable, convenient repair options.”

The bill faces intense opposition from technology companies, which have been pushing the governor to weaken or scuttle this important measure. Yet, momentum for the legislation is growing. Adding to the support for the bill, the state Climate Action Council included a recommendation to enact Right to Repair in their final plan, released on Monday

“It’s no wonder manufacturers don’t want these reforms to go forward. A right-to-repair is about actually owning the devices you have: You get to decide what happens with a device when it breaks,” said Hayley Tsukayama, senior legislative activist at the Electronic Frontier Foundation. “We hope our lawmakers can see past the industry’s self interest and do the right thing for New Yorkers.” 

“Removing barriers to repair prevents premature disposal of electronic devices built using toxic materials. It’s common sense, and it’s good for our planet and our communities,” said Caitlin Ferrante, conservation program manager at Sierra Club Atlantic Chapter. 

“Ever tried to repair an item only to find out that an upgrade is cheaper or a better deal? Wear and tear is normal, but throwing away otherwise functional devices shouldn’t be. Companies are intentionally making repair difficult so that we cycle through and buy more of their stuff. And, along with accelerated consumption comes more waste. This Right to Repair bill would save New Yorkers money, give us more options for repair, and reduce waste. That’s why it has so much popular support,” said Alexandria Choy, campaign organizer for Story of Stuff.