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RALEIGH, NC (AP) — An unemployment insurance package that would eliminate North Carolina’s $2.6 billion debt to the federal government by cutting jobless benefits and raising business taxes remains on the fast track at the General Assembly.

The House scheduled debate and a vote Monday on a proposal that Republicans and business interests are supporting. Labor activists and many Democrats argue it unfairly burdens displaced workers trying to pay bills and feed families.

The measure would require higher federal and state taxes but pay off the debt three years faster. Maximum weekly benefits also would fall by one-third to $350 a week. Federal extended benefits would be cut off July 1.

Advocacy groups scheduled a Monday afternoon news conference asking Gov. Pat McCrory and legislative leaders to back off the changes.

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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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