news give surplus computers a new life legislation passes senate committee to refurbish technology for veterans others in need
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Bill passes Senate committee to refurbish technology for veterans, others in need

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Last week, the U.S. Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Government Affairs voted unanimously to pass the Computers for Veterans and Students Act.

The legislation, led by Virginia Rep. Abigail Spanberger, according to a press release, would help provide federal surplus and repairable computers to non-profit computer refurbishers. The computers would be repaired and distributed to veterans, students and others in need across the United States.

The House voted unanimously to pass the legislation in July 2022, according to the press release.

Nonprofit computer refurbishers who receive computers from federal surplus would be required to provide training programs on how to use the technology.

“As more hiring processes, educational opportunities and jobs move online, the millions of American households that do not have access to a laptop or desktop computer are at a significant disadvantage,” Spanberger said in the press release. “My bipartisan Computers for Veterans and Students Act would help close this significant opportunity gap. Our legislation would cut red tape to reduce waste and give surplus computers — which otherwise might be locked away in a storage closet or tossed in the trash — a new life that could make a real difference in the life of a veteran, student or senior. I am grateful to my Senate colleagues for recognizing the opportunity this bill presents for Virginians and Americans across our communities who stand to benefit, and I will continue to push this legislation forward to be signed into law.”

According to a recent S&P Global report, Tech for Troops recycled and refurbished more than 112,000 pounds of computer equipment in 2021.

Co-led by U.S. Reps. Rob Wittman and Elaine Luria of Virginia, the legislation was originally introduced in July 2020 and reintroduced in May 2021.

Rebecca Barnabi

Rebecca J. Barnabi is the national editor of Augusta Free Press. A graduate of the University of Mary Washington, she began her journalism career at The Fredericksburg Free-Lance Star. In 2013, she was awarded first place for feature writing in the Maryland, Delaware, District of Columbia Awards Program, and was honored by the Virginia School Boards Association’s 2019 Media Honor Roll Program for her coverage of Waynesboro Schools. Her background in newspapers includes writing about features, local government, education and the arts.