This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2011, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.
Utah Senate President Michael Waddoups conceded Wednesday that he was using "too broad of a brush" when he said that not extending unemployment benefits would motivate people to find jobs.
But the Taylorsville Republican stopped short of apologizing a gesture demanded by several groups.
"It certainly was a broad brush and some [unemployed Utahns] really are trying hard and working hard. I understand that," Waddoups said. "Some of them really want jobs; some of them are not doing anything."
Waddoups said he talked with an LDS bishop, who told him that a young man had said he wasn't even going to start looking until his unemployment benefits ran out.
"There's a lot of those, too," Waddoups said.
While Waddoups tempered his previous remark, it wasn't enough for Nick Holland, director of the AFL-CIO's Utah Working Families, which, along with Alliance for a Better Utah and the Coalition of Religious Communities, demanded an apology.
"Waddoups' failure to apologize is shameful. He continues to insult the over 100,000 hard-working people of Utah who have fallen victim to the Great Recession," said Holland, who is the son of Utah Democratic Party Chairman Wayne Holland. "It is inexcusable that he refers to hypotheticals and political posturing, rather than apologizing."
Utah lawmakers opted during the recent legislative session not to use federal money to extend unemployment benefits to more than 20,000 people whose assistance payments were set to lapse.
Waddoups told The Associated Press that not extending the payments is "motivation for people to get back to work." He had made similar comments to The Salt Lake Tribune.
Waddoups maintains that not taking the federal money to extend jobless benefits was the right move.
"If we're going to save this country," he said, "we're going to have to start scaling back the spending."