Judge: Stockton, Calif., Can File for Bankruptcy
This is what voting for big-ass government will get you.The Chapter 9 bankruptcy case is being closely watched nationally for potential precedent-setting implications.
The $900 million that Stockton owes to the California Public Employees' Retirement System to cover pension promises is its biggest debt. So far Stockton has kept up with pension payments while it has reneged on other debts, maintaining that it needs a strong pension plan to retain its pared-down workforce.
The creditors who challenged Stockton's bankruptcy petition are the bond insurers who guaranteed $165 million in loans the city secured in 2007 to pay its contributions to the CalPERS pension fund. That debt got out of hand as property tax values plummeted during the recession, and money to pay the pension obligation fell short.