SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. (AP) — They cut spending, sold assets and even asked public employees to take a financial hit.

But budget woes still mounted for San Bernardino city officials. And by the beginning of this week, vendors hadn't been paid and cash was running out to make payroll, threatening to shut down the city.

That prompted elected officials in the city of 210,000 people to take the sudden move of authorizing the city attorney to seek federal bankruptcy protection, becoming the third California city poised to do so in less than two weeks.

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