A trial continues later today to determine whether the city of Stockton becomes the nation's most populous to enter bankruptcy. In opening remarks in federal bankruptcy court, city officials argued yesterday in Sacramento that they have to cut the city budget and services to the bone.

Creditors countered that Stockton had failed to negotiate cuts in the amount of money it pays into the state pension fund. The trial will determine whether the city of 300,000 people negotiated with its creditors in good faith before filing for Chapter 9 protection. The court proceeding is expected to last four days.