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Brown Signs Law In Response To Berkeley Balcony Collapse

Noah Berger / AP

A fourth-floor balcony rests on the balcony below after collapsing at the Library Gardens apartment complex in Berkeley, Calif., early Tuesday, June 16, 2015.

Noah Berger / AP

California Governor Jerry Brown has approved a new law in response to a deadly balcony collapse that killed six people in Berkeley last year.

The purpose of the law is to crack down on shoddy craftsmanship. Contractors will now have to tell the state whenever they’re convicted of crimes related to their work. But it’s not clear that would have helped regulators prevent the Berkeley balcony collapse.

The contractor who built that balcony had settled several cases related to prior work—and the new law does not require reporting of settlements. Last year, building groups successfully defeated another version of the legislation, which would have also required reporting of settlements. The industry argued a settlement doesn’t fairly portray a contractor’s work or safety record.

Instead, under the signed legislation, the state will study whether tracking settlements in the future could enhance safety.