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Biden administration moves to protect Alaska wilderness; opening statements and first witness in NY trial; SCOTUS hears Starbucks case, with implications for unions on the line; rural North Carolina town gets pathway to home ownership.

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The Supreme Court weighs cities ability to manage a growing homelessness crisis, anti-Israeli protests spread to college campuses nationwide, and more states consider legislation to ban firearms at voting sites and ballot drop boxes.

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Wyoming needs more educators who can teach kids trade skills, a proposal to open 40-thousand acres of an Ohio forest to fracking has environmental advocates alarmed and rural communities lure bicyclists with state-of-the-art bike trail systems.

Will 2024 be the year for Oregon 'Right to Repair' law?

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Friday, December 22, 2023   

Oregon will join 24 other states with "right to repair" legislation coming up in the 2024 session.

Five other states will have these laws in effect in the New Year. The products these laws cover vary - from vehicles in Massachusetts, to power wheelchairs and farm equipment in Colorado.

Oregon State Sen. Janeen Sollman's - D-Hillsboro - 2023 bill covers consumer electronics and home appliances. Sollman said people should have options when their devices need repair, and these laws promote "repairability."

"I want to make sure that we have products that last longer," said Sollman. "I believe it saves consumers money, and helps us protect precious resources."

She added that a right-to-repair bill would be an "incredible win" for Oregon small business owners.

Both the Senate and House bills would require manufacturers to make manuals, parts and tools available to consumers and third-party repair shops.

And repair shops would have a person certified to do the repairs, by a reputable certification organization.

Sollman said the bills will likely be further refined in the upcoming session.

Oregon State Public Interest Research Group State Director Charlie Fisher said the certification requirement was in response to feedback from legislators and other stakeholders.

"This provision was added, essentially," said Fisher, "to just give peace of mind that anyone who is a non-authorized independent repair business has the skills they need to be able to, say, fix a phone."

Fisher said "right to repair' is supported by a bipartisan coalition of Oregonians with diverse perspectives.

"Whether it's reducing electronic waste or cutting climate pollution, there's a really strong environmental argument," said Fisher. "But in addition to that, it saves families money - it supports small businesses, and it helps repair the digital divide."

Sollman pointed out that "right to repair" would open up the secondhand market, narrowing the "digital divide" caused by the high cost of new devices.

"To be able to fix a product and then sell it at a reasonable rate, or donate it, to get it back in the hands of somebody who could use it," said Sollman. "Consumers are benefiting because they have choice in the cost, and it benefits our planet."

"E-waste" worldwide is on track to reach 74 million metric tons by 2030. The Global E-waste Monitor says one factor contributing to this waste is having limited options to repair electronic devices.




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