Now that three California cities (Vallejo, Stockton and Mammoth Lakes) have filed for bankruptcy since the financial meltdown of 2008 and another, San Bernardino, is on the path to Chapter 9, the LA Times asked me whether some Wisconsin-style reforms might help alleviate the pressures on California cities. My response is here. It has been instructive how recalcitrant unions in places like Stockton and Vallejo have been during the financial decline of their cities, even as employee costs crowd out other spending (as the chart on Stockton's compensation woes below attests). Needless to say, city managers and elected officials have much more flexibility to cut costs is Wisconsin.
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