The Stockton City Council voted Tuesday night to go forward in the process of filing for Chapter 9 bankruptcy. As part of the process, the council also approved a step called pendency to allow a day to day balanced budget by declining to pay debt obligations.
Mayor Ann Johnston said the decision was painful.
"It's a sad day in the City of Stockton, none of us ever would have imagined that we would be sitting here talking about Chapter 9."
Councilman Dale Fritchen cast the only vote against bankruptcy.
"I think it will hurt us more than it will help us, for heaven's sake, I hope I'm wrong."
Among the hardest hit will be 1,100 retired city workers like Joanie Anderson who will lose their lifetime health insurance.
"The pendency plan is a death sentence for some, and an unavoidable slap in the face."
No layoffs or cuts in services are planned. In the last 3 years, the city has cut spending by more than $90 million.