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Maryland lawmakers should support right to repair law | READER COMMENTARY

An e-waste worker in Nevada County, California wades through a sea of electronic items dropped at Mount St. Mary's School for their annual recycling event on Oct. 10, 2020. (Elias Funez/The Union via AP)

If you’re like me, you’ve probably had the experience of having to replace an old cellphone. If you’re really like me, you’ve had the far more frustrating experience of having to replace a cellphone that isn’t old at all! The Baltimore Sun’s recent editorial on Maryland’s proposed “right to repair” legislation made me realize that I’m not the only one with this problem — thousands of Marylanders deal with planned obsolescence every year (”Maryland consumers should have a ‘right to repair’ electronics,” Feb. 12).

That’s why I was so excited to read about the new bill. What Sen. Katie Fry Hester and Del. Jessica Feldmark are proposing is a simple solution to a problem that impacts everyone I know. In short, they’re saying that electronics manufacturers should empower consumers to fix the electronics that we’ve bought and own. It’s not a new idea — Massachusetts passed a similar law for cars in 2012 and 75% of voters supported it in a referendum last year.

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Right to repair wouldn’t make my cellphone’s battery last longer. It would help me replace that broken battery for far less than the cost of a new phone. That’s worth pushing for and I hope the state legislature does the right thing by passing this proposal.

Tim Shade, Baltimore

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