Jan. 16 — California counties cannot withstand delays in payments from the state and any plan to delay payments will cripple counties ability to provide vital services to Californians, county officials said today.

County officials across the state are gravely concerned by the action Controller John Chiang will be forced to make without a budget solution and his announcement today that he will begin delaying payments to programs such as CalWORKS and mental health services in the coming weeks if the state’s cash crisis is not resolved.

“California counties will simply not be able to provide vital services such as CalWORKS, mental health programs and alcohol and drug abuse treatment to our residents at a time when demand for services has drastically increased,” said CSAC President and Imperial County Supervisor Gary Wyatt. “Delaying payments would only pass the state’s cash crisis onto counties, and we’re already dealing with our own budget crises.”