Oregon Legislature passes Right to Repair bill after four-year student effort

Measure, first to restrict anti-repair uses of parts pairing, heads to the governor

Press Release |

SALEM, Ore. — Oregon on Monday became the fourth state in the country to pass Right to Repair legislation for consumer devices, including appliances, laptops and cell phones. The state House passed Oregon’s Right to Repair Act (SB 1596) by a 42 to 13 margin. The bill passed the state Senate on Feb. 20. Now, it goes to Gov. Tina Kotek, who has five days after it gets to her desk to sign it into law.

The legislation requires manufacturers to make repair more accessible by providing open access to the parts, tools and information used to fix things, many of which manufacturers are currently restricting to “authorized” service centers. Oregon’s bill is the first to ban manufacturers from using software to prevent technicians from fully installing spare parts, a practice called “parts pairing.” 

“The Right to Repair keeps getting stronger. Oregon has passed the best bill yet,” said Addie Cooper, OSPIRG Students Board Chair. “By keeping products running and off the scrap heap, repair cuts waste and saves consumers money. People are tired of not being able to fix things. Lawmakers have gotten the message and, in turn, are sending that message to the manufacturers.” 

Students at the University of Oregon with OSPIRG met with over 40 small businesses to collect signons.
OSPIRG Students lobby day in Salem for Right to Repair on February 14th, 2024.

OSPIRG Students launched their campaign for the Right to Repair in 2020 and collected 40 letters of support from small business, as well as 100 photos from their peers. OSPIRG Students held a lobby day in Salem on February 14th  and met with 65  legislators to share student support for repair. Students are uniquely harmed by barriers to repair because of how dependent they are on technology for their education and the constraints on their budget and time. They’re also part of the future generation that will inherit an environment harmed by the electronic waste and pollution caused from the overconsumption of technology that can’t be repaired.

“When we own something, we should be able to do what you want with it, including fix it when it breaks,” said Prissila Moreno, OSPIRG Students UO Chapter Vice chair. “For too long makers of phones, laptops, and tablets have restricted repair—making it harder and more expensive to fix our stuff. We can’t afford to pay hundreds of dollars or travel for hours to get our phone fixed.”

“Oregon’s Right to Repair Act is about saving Oregonians money and supporting small business growth in Oregon. It provides positive environmental action by reducing e-waste, cutting pollution by manufacturing less waste and creating an after-market inventory of products to close the digital divide across our state”, said Senator Janeen Sollman, the Chief Sponsor in the Senate. “Oregonians deserve to have affordable and sustainable options for repairing their electronics instead of throwing them away or replacing them.”

The legislation covers consumer electronics and appliances, with the exception of video game consoles, heating and air conditioning units and vehicles. It applies to all covered electronics made after 2015, except cell phones, where it covers all devices made after July, 2021. 

“Oregon improves on Right to Repair laws in California, Minnesota and New York by making sure that consumers have the choice of buying new parts, used parts or third party parts for their gadgets and gizmos,” noted Repair.org Executive Director Gay Gordon-Byrne. 

“If it sounds like common sense, that’s because it is: Just let people fix their stuff!” concluded Amelia Fiore, OSPIRG Students UO Right to Repair Campaign Coordinator .