COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — A top South Carolina Senate Republican won approval Tuesday for a bill that gives employers tax breaks to spur hiring of the state's unemployed.

The Senate Finance Committee unanimously sent a bill to the Senate floor that would give employers tax credits of $1,200 a year for hiring someone drawing unemployment benefits.

South Carolina's 10.2 percent unemployment rate in February tied with Mississippi and Oregon as the nation's sixth highest. The proposal would cost the state $94 million in tax collections during the next two fiscal years. Employers would be able to take the $100-per-month credit for two years.

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