Fair Repair Act advances
Fair Repair Act advances in the Washington State Senate (Artwork by OpenMedia, remixed by NPI)

Anoth­er North­west Pro­gres­sive Insti­tute pri­or­i­ty bill has received a floor vote ahead of cut-off and will be mov­ing for­ward in the leg­isla­tive process.

House Bill 1392, prime spon­sored by Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Mia Gregerson (D‑33rd Dis­trict: South King Coun­ty), also known as the Fair Repair Act, is the lat­est incar­na­tion of the right to repair bill that NPI and many oth­er orga­ni­za­tions have been sup­port­ing for sev­er­al years. I tes­ti­fied on NPI’s behalf for both this bill and its Sen­ate com­pan­ion back in Jan­u­ary, and it was very heart­en­ing to see it move out of the House and head over to the Sen­ate today.

The premise under­ly­ing HB 1392 is sim­ple: Our elec­tron­ics and small appli­ances are valu­able, and we ought to be able to fix them when they break (or when the bat­ter­ies wear out) with­out being at the mer­cy of orig­i­nal equip­ment man­u­fac­tur­ers who are no longer inter­est­ed in help­ing their cus­tomers fix their old stuff because they’d rather prod them into buy­ing new stuff.

NPI’s polling has found that right to repair is wild­ly pop­u­lar. Over two-thirds of Wash­ing­ton vot­ers we’ve sur­veyed back this leg­is­la­tion, which is sim­i­lar to bills being con­sid­ered in oth­er states. At the fed­er­al lev­el, our new­ly elect­ed Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Marie Glue­senkamp Perez is work­ing on advanc­ing right to repair as a bipar­ti­san cause in Con­gress, which is also very encouraging.

“We’ve been work­ing hard to get this bill passed into law this year,” said Gregerson in a state­ment released by the House Demo­c­ra­t­ic cau­cus. “Many for­mer oppo­nents of the bill have now shown encour­ag­ing signs of support.”

If enact­ed, cau­cus staff say HB 1392 will “require man­u­fac­tur­ers to make every­thing need­ed to repair lap­tops, tablets, and cell phones avail­able to own­ers and inde­pen­dent shops. Access to parts, tools, and doc­u­men­ta­tion would bring real com­pe­ti­tion back into the repair mar­ket.” The bill will be espe­cial­ly ben­e­fi­cial to peo­ple who “live in rur­al parts in the state who can­not access des­ig­nat­ed repair shops for these devices that are typ­i­cal­ly found only in metro areas.”

The roll call on HB 1392 was as follows:

HB 1392
Elec­tron­ics repair
3rd Read­ing & Final Passage

Yeas: 58; Nays: 38; Excused: 2

Vot­ing Yea: Rep­re­sen­ta­tives Alvara­do, Bate­man, Berg, Bergquist, Berry, Callan, Cham­bers, Chopp, Cortes, Davis, Dent, Doglio, Don­aghy, Duerr, Enten­man, Fari­var, Fey, Fitzgib­bon, Fos­se, Good­man, Gregerson, Hack­ney, Klo­ba, Kretz, Lekanoff, Low, Macri, Mena, Mor­gan, Orms­by, Ortiz-Self, Orwall, Paul, Peter­son, Pol­let, Ramel, Ramos, Reed, Reeves, Ric­cel­li, Rule, Ryu, San­tos, Senn, Shavers, Sim­mons, Slat­ter, Springer, Stearns, Stonier, Street, Tay­lor, Thai, Tharinger, Tim­mons, Walen, Wylie, Jinkins

Vot­ing Nay: Rep­re­sen­ta­tives Abbarno, Barkis, Barnard, Bronoske, Caldier, Chan­dler, Chap­man, Cheney, Chris­t­ian, Con­nors, Cor­ry, Cou­ture, Dye, Goehn­er, Gra­ham, Grif­fey, Har­ris, Hutchins, Jacob­sen, Klick­er, Leav­itt, May­cum­ber, McClin­tock, McEn­tire, Mos­bruck­er, Orcutt, Robert­son, Rude, San­dlin, Schmick, Schmidt, Steele, Stokes­bary, Volz, Walsh, Waters, Wilcox, Ybarra

Excused: Rep­re­sen­ta­tives Eslick, Hansen

Democ­rats vot­ing against the bill were:

  • Dan Bronoske, 28th Leg­isla­tive Dis­trict (Pierce County)
  • Mike Chap­man, 24th Leg­isla­tive Dis­trict (Olympic Peninsula)
  • Mari Leav­itt, 28th Leg­isla­tive Dis­trict (Pierce County)

Repub­li­cans vot­ing for the bill were:

  • Kel­ly Cham­bers, 25th Dis­trict (Pierce County)
  • Tom Dent, 13th District
  • Joel Kretz, 7th Dis­trict (North­east Washington)
  • Sam Low, 39th Dis­trict (Sno­homish, Skag­it Counties)

The House opt­ed to dis­card the Appro­pri­a­tions Com­mit­tee’s ver­sion of the bill, revert­ing to the Con­sumer Pro­tec­tion & Busi­ness Com­mit­tee’s ver­sion on the floor.

Chap­man sup­port­ed the bill as amend­ed by the Con­sumer Pro­tec­tion & Busi­ness Com­mit­tee — he signed the major­i­ty report adopt­ing a “do pass” rec­om­men­da­tion — but curi­ous­ly vot­ed against HB 1392 on final passage.

A slew of Repub­li­can amend­ments were defeat­ed on the floor, with sev­er­al offered by Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Jim Walsh. One from Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Chris Cor­ry was accept­ed, which adjusts the lan­guage exclud­ing the auto­mo­tive indus­try from the bill.

Most of the amend­ments appear to have been writ­ten by lob­by­ists who work for com­pa­nies or tech indus­try enti­ties opposed to right to repair, and would have either weak­ened the bill or unnec­es­sar­i­ly cre­at­ed even more carve-outs.

HB 1392 now heads to the Sen­ate for fur­ther consideration.

NPI thanks the bipar­ti­san major­i­ty in the Wash­ing­ton State House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives that sup­port­ed this much-need­ed leg­is­la­tion and devot­ed time to delib­er­at­ing it on a Sat­ur­day floor ses­sion in Olympia.

About the author

Andrew Villeneuve is the founder and executive director of the Northwest Progressive Institute, as well as the founder of NPI's sibling, the Northwest Progressive Foundation. He has worked to advance progressive causes for over two decades as a strategist, speaker, author, and organizer. Andrew is also a cybersecurity expert, a veteran facilitator, a delegate to the Washington State Democratic Central Committee, and a member of the Climate Reality Leadership Corps.

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