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Hawaii committee votes unanimously to advance Right to Repair

By Kevin O'Reilly
Advocate, Right to Repair Campaign

HONOLULU, Hawaii -- With Thursday’s unanimous vote, members of the Consumer Protection & Commerce Committee affirmed the right of Hawaii residents to fix their own stuff and fight planned obsolescence. Introduced by Hawaii State Rep. Scott Nishimoto (Kapahulu), HB 1884 would give the public access to the parts, tools and information that consumers need to fix their stuff. The vote was 8-0 in favor, with three representatives excused. 

In response, U.S. PIRG Right to Repair Advocate Kevin O’Reilly said, ”People just want to fix their stuff. Manufacturers of everything from tablets to toasters to tractors make it too difficult and too expensive to repair their products when they break. With this vote, Hawaii legislators have taken a step towards a more fair and sustainable future.”

Michael Nale, owner of Honolulu repair shop Android Hawaii and co-founder of online repair school Phonlab, said, “Independent repair has allowed me to build a life for my daughter and me here in Hawaii, and it has helped thousands of my students do the same all around the world. This dream fades if we cannot get the parts, tools and schematics we need to fix our customers’ devices.”

“Passing this bill would help my company and others like it in Hawaii keep equipment from becoming electronic waste,” said Jim Crum, a Paauilo resident and owner of electronics refurbisher Geeks for Good. “This issue has become even more critical in rural and remote locations. My customers and I are tired of being forced to replace rather than repair.” 

Reps. Takumi (Pearl City), Ichiyama (Moanalua Valley), Aquino (Waipahu), Cabanilla Arakawa (Ewa), Cachola (Pearl Harbor), Har (Kapolei), Onishi (Hilo) and Kong (Aiea) all voted in favor of advancing the bill, with no one voting against. Reps. Belatti (Makiki), Mizuno (Kalihi Valley) and Matsumoto (Waialua) were excused from the vote.

The Hawaii Senate companion bill, SB 2496, introduced by Senators Taniguchi (Manoa), Keith-Agaran (Wailuku) and Rhoads (Honolulu) is scheduled to have a hearing on February 6.

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