Statement: California ‘Right to Repair Act’ achieves new milestone

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SACRAMENTO, Calif. — California’s potential new Right to Repair Act passed the state Assembly Appropriations Committee on Friday. It is now eligible for a vote by the full assembly, which ends this legislative session on Sept. 14. Senate Bill 244, by state Sen. Susan Talamantes Eggman, would significantly expand consumers’ and independent repair shops’ access to repair materials needed to fix electronics and appliances. This is the farthest that a  “Right to Repair” bill has advanced in the state of California. 

This major legislative milestone follows the Aug. 23 announcement by Apple that the company would support the bill. For years, Apple has been one of the most visible opponents of repair access while lobbying against giving consumers and independent repair shops what they need to fix devices. However, with the Right to Repair movement gaining recognition and support — and leading to laws in other states — Apple has reversed course and commended SB 244 for striking the right balance between “consumer choice and reliable repairs.”

Advocates have been pushing for Right to Repair legislation in California for 5 years. Similar bills have died in the state’s Senate Appropriations Committee the past two years after intense industry lobbying efforts against their passage. But public support for the Right to Repair in the state has grown alongside a swell of national momentum. New York, Colorado and Minnesota all passed their own Right to Repair laws in the past year. 

In response to the bill’s passage, CALPIRG State Director Jenn Engstrom made the following statement

“Today we’re one step closer to fixing California’s laws so we can fix our stuff. When you buy something, you should be able to do what you want with it. But when it comes to repair, for too long, electronics manufacturers have made it difficult to live by that core principle. It’s due time Californians get the right to repair.  Repair is good for consumers and good for the planet”

Read more from CALPIRG on what the legislation could mean for consumers.