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Lawmakers Sideline Berkeley Balcony Collapse Bill

Ben Adler / Capital Public Radio

Sens. Loni Hancock (D-Oakland) and Jerry Hill (D-San Mateo), at right, present their bill in response to last month's deadly Berkeley balcony collapse in the Assembly Business and Professions Committee Tuesday.

Ben Adler / Capital Public Radio

A bill in response to last month’s deadly balcony collapse in Berkeley has stalled in the California Legislature.

The legislation would have required contractors to tell state regulators about felony convictions and settlements over construction defects – in hopes of preventing similar building collapses.

"This, in my view, is what shakes people’s confidence in government," says Sen. Loni Hancock (D-Oakland), one of the bill’s authors. "And I’m very, very disappointed."

But opponents argued that other factors may have led to the balcony collapse and that settlements do not include admissions of guilt.

"We need to take a look at this bill a little more thoroughly with a little more time and come up with something that I think is a much better work product," says Jamie Kahn, a lobbyist for the Associated General Contractors of California.

The measure stalled Tuesday in an Assembly committee. It’s still alive, but will likely not come up again before January.

Ben Adler

Capitol Bureau Chief

Capitol Bureau Chief Ben Adler first became a public radio listener in the car on his way to preschool – though not necessarily by choice. Now, he leads Capital Public Radio’s state Capitol coverage, which airs on NPR stations across California.  Read Full Bio 

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