The vote came after interim City Manager Andrea Miller told the council San Bernardino has "an immediate cash-flow issue," the Los Angeles Times reported.
The city negotiated $10 million in concessions from municipal employees and cut the workforce by 20 percent during the past four years but that wasn't enough to head off the budget shortfall, the newspaper said.
San Bernardino would become the third California city to declare bankruptcy in recent weeks. Stockton and Mammoth Lakes have already done so.
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