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:
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.