Stockton Goes Bankrupt
The new budget did not call for additional service cuts beyond those that earlier slashed the police force by one-fourth, the fire department by one-third and 40 percent of other city employees, along with wages and medical benefits.
The budget approved Tuesday night would suspend payments for debts and legal claims; reduce payments for retiree medical benefits; further cut some pay and benefits; and increase revenue through code enforcement and parking citations.
In standing room only chambers, former city employees told council members about their life-threatening medical conditions and said benefit cuts meant they would effectively lose their health insurance.
"For me, bankruptcy might as well be a life sentence," said Gary Jones, a retiree who used to be a police officer in Stockton and said he was diagnosed with a brain tumor.