Bills to Increase Balcony Safety Pass California State Legislature
By Alexandra Stassinopoulos
Two California State Senate bills focused on construction reform — spurred by the 2015 balcony collapse that killed six people in Berkeley — passed the Legislature in August and await Gov. Jerry Brown’s signature.
The bills, co-authored by state Sens. Jerry Hill, D-San Mateo, and Nancy Skinner, D-Berkeley, aim to increase safety of structures such as balconies or decks in multifamily residences, such as apartment buildings.
Six students were killed in the 2015 collapse — five Irish students studying abroad and one student from Rohnert Park, California — and seven others were injured. The Contractors State License Board, or CSLB, determined that poor construction methods and dry rot caused the collapse.
“This is a serious issue that has killed people throughout the state,” Hill said in an August address to the Assembly Appropriations Committee. “We can prevent these tragedies with reasonable statewide inspection and repair standards.”