Report: More Utahns dropping below poverty line

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SALT LAKE CITY -- More Utahns are slipping into the ranks of poverty, and experts say even the middle class is being affected.

"I don't know what we're going to do. I really don't know, I don't," said Vern Karr, who was recently laid off from his job as an alcohol and drug counselor due to budget cuts.

Karr isn't the only one affected. Community Action Partnership of Utah released the 2009 Annual Report on Poverty Wednesday morning. According to the report, more people are seeking help from community-action agencies; 61 percent of those are doing so for the first time.

Utah's Senate president says the government is trying to help people get on their feet by making more jobs.

"It's always better if we help people lift themselves up rather than saying, ‘OK, we're being big brother and we're going to take care of everything you need," President Michael Waddoups said.

Waddoups points out that Utah has weathered the economic storm well, and the state's economy is stronger than the national average.

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