Calif. senate gives hospitals 12-year extension on retrofitting deadline

The California Senate voted yesterday to give the state's hospitals another 12 years to comply with regulations intended to make sure their buildings are strong enough to withstand major earthquakes. Lawmakers passed tough new rules on hospital construction after the 1994 Northridge earthquake. The California Hospital Association, which backed legislation in favor of the extension in the Senate, has argued that the strict retrofitting rules pose a hardship for many hospitals and said they should be given more leeway. The bill now goes to the assembly.

Not everybody agrees that the deadline should be postponed. State Sen. Gloria Romero (D-LA) said, "We are in a state of denial. California is earthquake country and we're denying the inevitable. This is one where we're saying to save a buck we're willing to compromise safety."

- see this story from the Los Angeles Times