RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) -- In the first weeks of this year's North Carolina General Assembly, Republican majorities are moving quickly on measures they call tough medicine for tough economic times. Critics say the plans plainly hurt poor people.

Priorities include legislation cutting unemployment checks and shortening the length of time the jobless can collect. A measure rejecting a Medicaid expansion to provide health care coverage to about 500,000 residents could get a final vote Monday. And a third measure would shave a subsidy for the working poor, cutting the state's Earned Income Tax Credit as the federal credit increases.

Bridgette Burge of Raleigh is unemployed and receives $422 per week in federal emergency benefits. She would lose it without a full-time job by July.

She says Republicans are waging war on the poor.

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