State Director, CALPIRG
State Director, CALPIRG
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Gov. Gavin Newsom on Tuesday signed the Right to Repair Act (SB244), which will significantly expand consumers’ and independent repair shops’ access to materials and information needed to fix electronics and appliances.
With the governor’s signature, California is now the fourth state in the last year to enact a Right to Repair law, following New York, Colorado and Minnesota. Advocates say California’s is the strongest consumer protection legislation of its kind. Once the law goes into effect in July 2024, Californians will be able to get the parts, tools and information needed to keep devices working longer and out of our landfills, saving Californians money and limiting the toxic electronic waste in our environment.
The last year has seen an increase in support for Right to Repair legislation, with 30 states introducing bills on the topic. Passing SB 244 in California, the home of Silicon Valley, should further energize the Right to Repair movement nationwide, especially because Apple, which had been a longtime opponent, supported California’s bill this summer.
In response to the governor’s signature, the bill’s author, state Sen. Susan Eggman and the bill’s sponsors CALPIRG’s Jenn Engstrom, Californians Against Waste’s Nick Lapis and iFixit’s Elizabeth Chamberlain made the following statements,
“I’m thrilled that the Governor has signed the Right to Repair Act into law. As I’ve said all along, I’m so grateful to the advocates fueling this movement with us for the past six years, and the manufacturers that have come along to support Californians’ Right to Repair,” said Senator Eggman. “This is a common sense bill that will help small repair shops, give choice to consumers, and protect the environment.”
“This is a victory for consumers and the planet, and it just makes sense,” said Jenn Engstrom, state director of CALPIRG. “Right now, we mine the planet’s precious minerals, use them to make amazing phones and other electronics, ship these products across the world, and then toss them away after just a few years’ use. What a waste. We should make stuff that lasts and be able to fix our stuff when it breaks, and now thanks to years of advocacy, Californians will finally be able to, with the Right to Repair.”
“Replacing expensive electronics and appliances at an ever-quickening pace is not only a financial burden on consumers but also drives unsustainable mining and extraction that has a tremendous environmental impact up and down the supply chain,” said Nick Lapis, Director of Advocacy for Californians Against Waste. “My hope is that, with the passage of SB 244, California will foster a thriving market for repair businesses and secondhand sales that will make repair the norm, not the exception.”
“The tech revolution started here in California, so it’s appropriate that we’re working to fix the problems of Big Tech here, too,” said Elizabeth Chamberlain, director of sustainability at iFixit. “With access to original parts, tools, and documentation, independent repair shops will be able to compete again. And Californians across the state—accounting for about 1 out of every 8 Americans—will be able to fix things however they see fit.”