New law signed in California in the aftermath of Berkeley balcony tragedy

Berkeley survivor Aoife Beary at a hearing in Califronia last month.This afternoon, a new law was passed and signed by the state of California as a result of the Berkley tragedy last summer.  The accident resulted in the death of a number of students: five Irish, three of whom studied in UCD, and one Irish-American.The bill (entitled SB 465) unanimously passed the Californian senate 37-0 in late August, and was officially signed and ratified today by Governor Jerry Brown.Speaking on the details of the bill, Californian Senator Jerry Hill released a statement which explained the bill “ensures that the state agencies tasked with overseeing the construction industry are taking appropriate steps to identify bad actors and improve building standards.” His statement explains that "SB 465 requires the Building Standards Commission to look at improving their safety requirements for balconies and other outdoor structures."The bill passed just a week after twenty-two year-old Berkeley survivor Aoife Beary gave testimony to a hearing on the tragedy in mid-August.In a statement released to the press this evening, Minister for Foreign Affairs Charlie Flanagan welcomed the new law. Minister of State Joe McHugh was in attendance for the signing ceremony of the new law by Governor Brown, and afterwards Minister Flanagan stated that "the adoption of this new law is a testament to the tireless advocacy of those directly affected by the horrific Berkeley balcony collapse which resulted in the deaths and injuries of a number of Irish students over a year ago.""This legislation is but one step in a broader process which the Irish government hopes will ensure that no other family has to endure the loss and injury suffered by our students, their families and friends in Berkeley a year ago."SB 465 is a planned first step for the Californian senate. The bill is planned to be the initial strengthening of standards for building instructors in the US state.