Oregon has become the fourth state in the nation to enact a “right to repair” law to make it easier for consumers and independent shops to repair electronic devices.

Gov. Tina Kotek signed Senate Bill 1596 on Thursday, which requires manufacturers to provide documentation, parts, tools and other equipment needed to repair electronic devices at a “fair cost” and “reasonable” terms. will be required.

“This is a win for consumers and will help close the digital divide and support small businesses across the state,” Kotek said in a statement.

The bill will take effect in January. The bill was sponsored by state Sen. Janine Solman, D-Hillsborough, who first began pushing the bill in 2021. He won confirmation this Congress with support from Democrats and several Republicans, including Republican Sen. Kim Thatcher of Kaiser. The few lawmakers who opposed the bill were Republicans.

“Our new Right to Repair Act is a reasonable, common-sense step to reduce costs and put more power back in the hands of consumers,” Solman said in a statement.

The law is expected to make it cheaper for consumers and independent repair shops to repair electronic devices such as smartphones and computers. It is also expected to reduce emissions and e-waste. Speaking on the House floor, Rep. Courtney Neron (D-Wilsonville) said that Oregonians throw away nearly 5,000 cell phones every day, and if they kept them for another year, that would mean 8,100 cars off the road. He said it would be equivalent to removing it from the

Supporters say the law will also benefit marginalized communities who are often sidelined in the digital world. A 2021 report from the Federal Trade Commission to Congress said consumer products are becoming increasingly difficult to repair and maintain, and communities of color are being disproportionately affected.

The bill received broad support from small businesses and consumer advocacy groups, including OSPIRG, a statewide public interest group.

“Manufacturers can no longer use anti-consumer software to prevent third-party repairs,” OSPIRG Director Charlie Fisher said in a statement. “Small and medium-sized businesses will now be able to modify consumer technology without jeopardizing device performance.”

Only one major manufacturer, Apple, opposed the bill. Apple representatives who testified against the bill said it would undermine the company's security efforts, a claim that lawmakers questioned. The company has come under increased regulatory scrutiny, with the European Union recently fining the company about $2 billion and this month 15 states, including Oregon, accusing Apple of trying to illegally corner the smartphone market. Participating in the U.S. Department of Justice's lawsuit.

In addition to Oregon, Minnesota, New York, and California also have right-to-repair technology laws. Massachusetts approved a vehicle right-to-repair law, and Colorado adopted wheelchair and farmers laws.

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