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RALEIGH, NC (AP) — A business coalition says fixing North Carolina’s indebted unemployment insurance system will bring more certainty to companies and encourage job growth.

But a group focused on urban issues and some Democratic lawmakers say more emphasis is needed on training and less on cutting displaced worker benefits.

Two organizations held separate news conferences Wednesday as the General Assembly reconvened for the 2013 session. The House Finance Committee planned to debate a bill Thursday that seeks to eliminate $2.5 billion owed to the federal government and make a trust fund flush for future claims.

Dozens of business groups forming the Reemployment Coalition support the measure. But House Minority Leader Larry Hall said at a North Carolina Urban League event that benefit cuts are not the answer to the program’s problems.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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