California adopts the Right to Repair bill

California State Assembly passes the Right to Repair Bill in a bid to allow consumers to save on the cost of purchases and save the environment.

 Electronics, Hardware, Printed Circuit Board, Person, Credit Card, Text

The Right to Repair Act was passed in the California State Assembly with an overwhelming majority, 50 to 0, on September 12, 2023. Senate Bill 244 turns the clock back to when consumers could use broken or malfunctioning appliances and electronics after repair works. According to the director of PIRG’s Right to Repair campaign, ‘… in the state of big tech, repair is a winning idea… [it] gives me hope we can create a more fixable world’. He emphasised, however, that more must be done to balance the relationship between sustainability and technological development.

Senator Susan Eggman received high commendations for tabling and staying the course to have the bill passed. Earlier this year, the senator even received the support of one of the bill’s biggest critics, Apple. In a letter, Apple indicated that it fully supports consumers’ right to repairs alongside their rights to privacy and security.

The count of those favouring the Right to Repair Act is expected to increase before the bill returns to the Senate and thence to the governor’s desk for ratification.  

Why does it matter?

The passing of the Right to Repair Bill in California is instrumental to passing similar legislation across other states, given that the state is home to several Big tech companies and one of the most extensive repair companies, iFixit. The bill in and of itself also pushes the agenda on one of the Biden administration’s biggest campaign platforms, climate change and the environment.