COLUMBIA -- South Carolina is writing unemployment checks for than 124,000 residents weekly, with $19 million worth distributed last week, the state's Employment Security Commission director said Tuesday Meanwhile, the House's majority leader said he'll work to end routine benefits paid to manufacturers for seasonal shutdowns because it's not fair to other employers who don't abuse the practice. The unemployment system is running with the help of borrowed federal cash after the state's trust fund ran out of money last month, Ted Halley, the commission's executive director, told a legislative committee that is deciding how to handle the agency's budget. Less than 1 percent of the agency's funds are from state sources; the rest are from the federal government and unemployment insurance collections from employers. The state's 8.4 percent jobless rate is the nation's third highest. The state's Board of Economic Advisors chairman said last week that unemployment is on track to hit 14 percent this year. Halley said he's held the line on increasing the weekly limit for benefits and will make more recommendations for reducing benefits or increasing assessments on employers in the next few weeks. The agency and Gov. Mark Sanford were at odds in December as the Republican governor refused to ask for the federal benefits loan as he sought an audit of the agency and details of who is unemployed. An agreement was reached just hours before state's accounts would have been emptied when legislators called for a review of the agency by the Legislative Audit Council. Halley said he's been working with Sanford's staff and that some of the information sought by the Commerce Department won't be available until state privacy laws are changed. and that computer programming needs to retrieve some information. House Majority Leader Kenny Bingham, R-West Columbia, chairs the Ways and Means Committee panel handling the commission's budget. He's focusing on long-held practice of letting employers file claims for workers temporarily laid off for seasonal plant shutdowns. It started out with 26 weeks in the 1970s and helped keep employers from creating long lines at unemployment offices. It helps employers avoid hiring new workers and training them. It's since been cut to 6 weeks. "Let me just tell you right now, I mean, I've got a big problem with that," Bingham said. It allows them to take more out of the insurance system than they're putting in, while saving money on federal payroll taxes, he said. Commission Chairman McKinley Washington warned changing that could affect the way employers look at the state when it recruits industry. Bingham said he understands that, but it shouldn't be up to the state or other employers to "subsidize those who wish to play that game and that's why they're doing it because an advantage added to the detriment of others." Very quickly, "somebody that would do it on a yearly basis with their employees could definitely recoup benefits that would never be paid in," Bingham said. "I don't think that those who do pay in fairly and do not treat the system that way should subsidize that."