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Colorado passes Right to Repair bill for wheelchairs

NPS Photo / D. Diaz

DENVER (KRDO) -- Colorado legislators pass the nation's first 'right to repair' bill of its kind. This bill would address the right to repair wheelchairs.

The state's General Assembly approved HB22-1031, which would require manufacturers of powered wheelchairs to make parts, tools, and repair manuals available to owners and independent repairers at reasonable prices.

The bipartisan bill was sponsored by state Representatives Brianna Titone and David Ortiz, state Senators Rachel Zenzinger and John Cooke, and passed the state Senate earlier this week. It now heads to Governor Jared Polis for his signature.

“The passage of this bill is a big deal, not just for the disability community, but for the Right to Repair movement as a whole,” Rep. Titone said. “Nobody should have to be stuck in a broken wheelchair because they can't fix it.”

“When someone is confined to a wheelchair, their life is hard enough, and they don’t need big profit-seeking companies to make life even tougher by obstructing the good working order of the wheelchair,” Sen. Zenzinger said. “This is a bill that clearly made sense, and now I hope the rest of the nation catches up to Colorado in short order.”

Advocates of the bill say any repairs that wheelchair users need involve simple fixes such as batteries and wheels. However, they say a lack of access to tools and information limits repair options, and service delays often drag on for weeks or even months.

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