Building studies advance after fatal Berkeley balcony fall

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California lawmakers are advancing a proposal aimed at making construction businesses more transparent after a Berkeley apartment balcony collapsed last year, killing six people.

An Assembly business committee voted unanimously Tuesday to approve SB465, with four Republicans abstaining.

Jackie Donohoe, whose daughter Ashley Donohoe died in the fall, says the collapse could have been avoided if a state licensing board knew about previous defect settlements with the builder.

City officials found the balcony’s wooden support beams were rotted by water damage.

Under Democratic Sen. Jerry Hill of San Mateo’s proposal, state agencies would study how to improve balcony standards and whether to publish information about construction malpractice.

The bill would also require licensed contractors to report felony convictions to a credentialing board.

Contracting associations oppose the study of business settlements.

Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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