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LINCOLN, Neb. — The Nebraska state Senate filibustered Sen. Tom Brandt’s (Plymouth) Agricultural Equipment Right-To-Repair Act on Thursday, and state lawmakers have no plans to hear the bill again this session. The legislation could have been the first of its kind to reach a governor's desk.
LB 543 would have provided farmers and independent mechanics with access to software, parts and other necessary repair materials for farm equipment. It earned support from numerous agriculture and repair advocacy groups, including the Nebraska Farm Bureau, Nebraska Farmers Union, U.S. PIRG and the Repair Association. Equipment manufacturers and dealers staunchly opposed the bill.
In response, U.S. PIRG’s Right to Repair Campaign Director Kevin O’Reilly issued the following statement:
“Farmers in the Cornhusker state may have to do more of their husking old-fashioned way while they wait for repairs on their modern equipment. We can all 'thank' industry lobbyists, who kept Nebraskan food producers from being able to fix their own stuff.
“We believe that we had the votes to pass LB543 if the opposition had not filibustered the bill. Despite all of the progress we made, we can’t dispute that this was a tough loss for the farmers that need Right to Repair. But, to adapt a Victor Hugo quote, no army of lobbyists can stop an idea whose time has come. We will continue our work with farmers, the ag community and tireless repair champions such as Sen. Tom Brandt to make the truth known and get farmers the repair relief they deserve.
“The opposition may have run the clock out on the Nebraska Agricultural Equipment Right-To-Repair Act, but they will not run the clock out on the Right to Repair movement. We’ll be back.”
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