Statement: Gov. Kotek Signs Right to Repair into Law

On Wednesday, Oregon Gov. Tina Kotek signed SB 1596 into law, ensuring that all Oregonians will be able to exercise their Right to Repair. Now, consumers will be able to access information, parts, and third party vendors to repair their technology, such as phones, laptops, and other consumer electronic devices. Oregon becomes the fourth state to pass a Right to Repair law surrounding consumer electronics, and will go into effect on January 1, 2025.

In addition to the consumer benefits of this legislation, Oregon’s Right to Repair law also addresses a growing environmental crisis: electronic waste. As the fastest growing waste source in the world, e-waste deposits massive amounts of toxic heavy metals into our environment. Because of the difficulties of repair, Oregonians throw away an estimated 4,800 cell phones per day. Now, they can keep their devices running and out of the environment.

In response, Charlie Fisher, OSPIRG State Director, issued the following statement: 

“Right to Repair has always been based on a simple value: Everyone should be able to fix their stuff where they want when it breaks instead of having to replace it or pay an arm and a leg to get it repaired by the manufacturer. With Right to Repair becoming law, Oregon continues to boldly rethink our throwaway, disposable approach to consumption and disposal of electronics and appliances. 

The new law is a win for all Oregonians, especially considering that this legislation includes a provision against software parts pairing, a predatory strategy manufacturers use to discourage repair outside of their “repair network”. No longer can a manufacturer use anti-consumer software to prevent third party repairs. Now, small business vendors will be able to fix consumer technology without threatening the performance of a device. 

This is a collective effort brought forward by dozens of small business repair shops, community organizations, and regular Oregonians. OSPIRG is grateful to Sen. Janeen Sollman and Rep. Courtney Neron for championing this issue in the legislature and to Gov. Kotek for signing it into law. 

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