SACRAMENTO -- California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger yesterday vetoed a bill that proposed to significantly expand the RoHS statutes mandated by the California Waste Recycling Act.

In returning the bill, AB 48, to the legislature, Gov. Schwarzenegger wrote, "Unfortunately, the approach taken in this bill is largely unworkable and instead of the benefits it seeks to accomplish, could ultimately result in unintended and potentially more harmful consequences."

The bill, said Schwarzenegger, "purports to impose restrictions similar to those already in place in the European Union, but the deviations it takes from the European Union approach are fatally flawed."

He claims exemption language for spare parts and refurbished products, as currently written in this bill, will make many electronic products prematurely obsolete and force their retirement years earlier than necessary.

The EU RoHS Directive exempts spare and refurbished products.

The existing state law covers a relative handful of product types, including monitors, TVs and notebook computers.

Despite the veto, the California legislature, which had passed AB 48 last month, may try again. Michael Kirschner, president of Design Chain Associates, which has followed the legislation closely, said in an email Saturday, "Don't expect that this is the end of the attempts to bring RoHS to California. This was the second attempt; I expect a third."
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