Businesses can receive a $5,000 tax credit for each out-of-work Marylander hired this year, under a plan nearing final approval in the General Assembly. Gov. Martin O'Malley pushed the tax credit as a way to stimulate hiring at a time when the state faces a 7.5 percent unemployment rate - the worst in a quarter-century. Lawmakers increased the credit from the $3,000 O'Malley proposed. The House of Delegates approved the Senate's legislation Wednesday, but the two chambers must agree upon slight changes added by the House. To protect against abuse, the measure requires that, to receive the credit, employers fill a new position or one that has been vacant for at least six months. The employees hired must be either collecting unemployment or within a year of the expiration of those benefits.