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Live Chat: How many other California cities face bankruptcy risk?

July 11, 2012 | 11:17 am

The San Bernardino City Council's decision to file for municipal bankruptcy has generated questions and concerns across California.

San Bernardino would be the third city in less than a month to seek bankruptcy protection.

How far will the financial crisis spread? How will bankruptcy affect city services and employees? What other cities are on the brink?


At 1 p.m., The Times will host a Google + Hangout featuring Times government reporter Catherine Saillant and assistant city editor Kimi Yoshino.

You can pose questions in the comments section of this post or on the Los Angeles Times Google+ page

By filing for Chapter 9 bankruptcy protection, a section of federal law for municipalities facing insolvency, the city will be able to renegotiate labor contracts, stall payments to creditors and insulate the city from large lawsuit judgments, City Atty. James Penman said. Those protections will allow San Bernardino to retool its budget process and departments and wean itself back to financial health, he said.

PHOTOS: California cities in bankruptcy

The city faces a $46-million deficit, even after the city negotiated $10 million in concessions from employees and slashed the workforce 20% over the last four years.

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Photo: Mayor Patrick J. Morris outside of San Bernardino City Hall on July 11. San Bernardino became the third California city in less than a month to seek bankruptcy protection Tuesday. Credit: Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times