Gov. Jerry Brown today signed into law a package of bills cutting the state’s $26.6 billion budget deficit, but also substantially reducing services to the poor in Orange County and throughout the state.

The measures keep alive the Adult Day Health Care program but cut its funding in half and require a restructuring that, supporters say, will drop all but the sickest adults from the services.

Similarly, aid to adults and children in the CalWorks program is cut and the number of years families can remain on the welfare program is cut from five to four.

And the county’s Children and Families Commission, which supports a variety of health and education programs for children from birth through five-years-old, will lose about $51 million it intended to use for programs. The commission has voted to sue to stop the cuts which take about $1 billion from the program statewide.

During a 30-minute news conference in Sacramento, according to the San Francisco Chronicle, Brown said “We have to find more revenue or more and more drastic cuts, and certainly the next round of cuts will be much more painful and much more disruptive than the cuts to date.”

He added: “I want the people of California to understand we are in a serious bind here and we are going to get more revenues or get some drastic cutbacks.”

Brown wants the Legislature to put a measure on the June ballot that would extend temporary state tax increases for five years to pay off the rest of the state deficit but he needs the support of four Republican lawmakers and so far, doesn’t have them.

A poll released Wednesday by the nonpartisan Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC) showed public support for the June special election has dropped since Brown proposed it in January.

And the Los Angeles Times reported the state treasurer’s warned the state might have to issue IOUs if the election is pushed back to November.

— TRACY WOOD

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