By David Siders
Published: Friday, Jun. 8, 2012 – 12:00 am | Page 3A

The Legislature is warming up for state budget hearings next week.

The public is rolling its eyes.

Nearly two-thirds of registered voters – 65 percent – have little faith in lawmakers to satisfactorily resolve California’s $15.7 billion budget deficit, and their confidence in Gov. Jerry Brown is declining, too, according to a Field Poll released today.

The Democratic governor’s job performance rating slipped to 43 percent, down two points from February, according to the poll. Forty-three percent of voters have little confidence in Brown’s handling of the budget, up from a 32 percent negative outlook last fall.

“Matters seem to be getting worse,” said poll director Mark DiCamillo, and the electorate is “just not pleased.”

The Legislature, whose public approval rating had remained above 20 percent – a still-embarrassingly low bar – for much of last year, dropped back to 19 percent.

Brown and Democratic legislative leaders have been meeting privately this week to resolve about $2 billion in budget differences before hearings next week.

Meanwhile, activists rallied at the Capitol against proposed cuts to In-Home Supportive Services, one of several areas in which legislative Democrats have resisted cuts proposed by Brown.

Gail Ennis, president of the California United Homecare Workers union, said she came to the rally because the IHSS was “once again targeted.”

“This year what we are saying is ‘no’ to cuts,” Ennis told the crowd. “We’re here because we want to make sure that lawmakers get the message.”

Democratic leaders say they intend to send Brown a budget by June 15, the constitutional deadline. If that document satisfactorily resolves the deficit, much of the electorate may be surprised.

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