Gov. Kotek signs Right to Repair into Law

MEDFORD, Ore.- Governor Tina Kotek signed SB 1596 into law, allowing Oregonians to exercise their right to repair their electronic devices starting January 1st 2025.

Charlie Fisher, State Director of the Oregon State Public Interest Research Group, also known as OSPIRG, says the group sees themselves as a voice for the people. He says with this law, manufacturers of consumer electronic devices like phones, tablets, laptops and even certain appliances will have to provide the same parts, repair information and tools to everyone.

“Well, I mean, you know, it used to be you bought a product and it came with a repair manual that would allow you to easily diagnose a problem in whatever it was that you owned,” Fisher said, “Especially with electronic devices, that just is not the case”.

Fisher says some devices have been shown to become dysfunctional if parts they were originally paired with are replaced. He says the law essentially allows for more competition and reduces the monopoly companies currently have on their repair abilities.

“You don’t have to just go to the authorized repair ecosystem, which, often times, means that it’s going to cost more and they’re going to try to get you to buy a new product,” Fisher said, “You can take it anywhere you want or you can do it yourself and extend the life of the stuff you already own”.

But the law doesn’t only help out consumers, but the environment too. He says OSPIRG estimates that 4800 phones are discarded in Oregon every day, equaling around 1.75 million phones annually. He says from the mining of materials, to the time and money spent on manufacturing and transportation, and then to the disposal of the product, there is an incredible negative impact on the environment.

“We estimate that if every Oregonian were able to extend the life of their phone by just a year, it would be the equivalent of removing 8100 cars off the road in terms of carbon emissions,” Fisher said.

Oregon will become the fourth state in the country to approve of this law, and with it, folks will be more capable of keeping their devices running and out of the garbage. Justin Brookman, Director of Tech Policy at Consumer Reports, says in part quote:

“Oregon’s law now means that nearly 70 million Americans have the right to repair the devices they own.”

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NBC5 News Reporter Lauren Pretto grew up in Livermore, California and attended University of California, Santa Cruz, graduating with a double major in Film/Digital Media and Literature with a concentration in Creative Writing. Lauren is a lover of books, especially Agatha Christie and Gothic novels. When her nose isn't buried in a book, she knits, bakes, and writes.
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