San Bernardino’s City Council voted to become the third California municipality this year to seek bankruptcy protection after officials learned they may not have enough cash to pay workers.

July 11 (Bloomberg) — Bloomberg economist Joseph Brusuelas talks about the economic situation in California and previews the U.S. trade balance and wholesale inventories data for May. (Joseph Brusuelas is a Bloomberg economist. The opinions expressed are his own. Source: Bloomberg)

The council last night voted 4 to 2, with one abstention, to authorize a filing under Chapter 9 of U.S. bankruptcy law. The city of 209,000, about 65 miles (105 kilometers) east of Los Angeles, is so broke it can’t cover its payroll, interim City Manager Andrea Travis-Miller said.

San Bernardino would follow Stockton, a community of 292,000 east of San Francisco, which on June 28 became the biggest U.S. city to enter bankruptcy. Mammoth Lakes, a mountain resort of 8,200, sought court protection from creditors July 3 saying it can’t pay $43 million owed on a legal judgment, more than twice its general-fund spending for the year.

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