(AP) The city of San Bernardino is considering declaring a fiscal emergency to avoid mediation and head straight to federal bankruptcy court.
The City Council is scheduled to meet Monday afternoon to discuss declaring the emergency because of a dire cash crunch in the city of 210,000 people.
The move would let San Bernardino avoid a neutral evaluation otherwise required under California law before a city can file for Chapter 9 bankruptcy protection.
San Bernardino could become the third California city in the past month to file for bankruptcy, following Stockton and Mammoth Lakes.
San Bernardino faces a roughly $45 million budget shortfall, even after slashing spending, and officials have said the city may not be able to make payroll in August.
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