SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. (AP) — The city of San Bernardino, Calif. has delayed a decision to declare a fiscal emergency to avoid mediation and head straight to federal bankruptcy.
The City Council voted Monday to delay the vote until Wednesday. Members expressed a desire for more time to look over financial information and talk to constituents.
The emergency declaration would let the city of 210,000 people avoid a neutral evaluation otherwise required under California law before filing for Chapter 9 bankruptcy protection.
Council members also voted to immediately begin formal negotiations with employee unions as they struggle to meet payroll.
San Bernardino could become the third California city since last month to file for bankruptcy, following Stockton and Mammoth Lakes.
The city faces a roughly $45 million budget shortfall even after slashing spending.