HB 1392, which would have expanded access to affordable repair of phones, laptops, tablets, and other devices, took its final breath this week and now feasts at the great table amongst its colleagues in Bill-halla. Affectionately known by friends and family as the Fair Repair Act, HB 1392 and its close companion, SB 5464, wanted very little out of life other than to extend the life of expensive devices that connect people to work, medical care, school, and others – and ultimately, reduce the amount of valuable and potentially toxic materials being discarded.
During its brief life, the Fair Repair Act asked that manufacturers of certain consumer electronics provide consumers and independent repair shops with the parts, tools, and information they need to fix their devices. While the Fair Repair Act’s heart was full with the needs of students, families, small businesses, and the environment, it was unable to overcome concerns about personal security and corporate privacy.
While the Fair Repair Act may have rung down the curtain and joined the choir invisible this week, its core messages live on: increase affordable and convenient access to repairing our own products and reduce unnecessary waste. We hope to see these messages return someday and finally ease the financial and emotional pain caused by the fragility and mortality of our devices.
Instead of flowers, the Fair Repair Act has asked that you take care of your phones, tablets, or laptops and protect them until the day they are more easily healed. Both HB 1392 and SB 5464 are survived by their primary sponsors, Senator Stanford, and Representative Gregerson, and we wish to thank them for their hard work and dedication.
WSAC, Policy Analyst