Bill prompted by Berkeley balcony collapse passes committee stage

A new law to make America's construction industry more transparent is a step closer today - after passing a vital committee stage.

Survivors of the Berkeley balcony collapse have been lobbying the California State Assembly to publicise builders' safety records.

Six students died and seven suffered catastrophic injuries when a balcony they were on in Berkeley collapsed last summer.

It later emerged the builder of the Library Gardens apartment complex had paid over US$26m dollars in settlements relating to other cases of building defects.

Author of the Bill, Senator Jerry Hill, explained how the legislation will impact on the California contractors licence board.

"If there are settlements, if there are arbitration agreements, if there is legal action against a contractor, they will be able to identify that and look at the work of a contractor and go after them if they are the bad actors to make sure that they comply with the law, and if not they will discipline them and perhaps take their licence [preventing them] from performing work in the future,"

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