Senators Propose Limit On Sick Leave Payouts

By Phil Gregory, WBGO News
Trenton. July 11, 2014

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Senate President Steve Sweeney
Senate President Steve Sweeney (photo by Phil Gregory)

The top Democrat in the New Jersey Senate and a Republican colleague are introducing legislation to limit payouts to public employees for unused sick time.

The bill sponsored by Senate President Steve Sweeney and Republican Senator Joe Kyrillos would cap those payouts to a retiring public worker at $15,000.

Sweeney say some employees are getting hundreds of thousands of dollars simply because they were fortunate enough not to get sick -- and some towns have had to borrow millions of dollars to cover the payouts.

"Whatever the payouts in the past were, we can't change that, but it'll stop the madness that's going on here right now."

Governor Chris Christie wants to completely eliminate the payouts. He vetoed similar legislation four years ago, but Sweeney says he’s encouraged that some Republican lawmakers say they’d vote for the $15,000 limit.

“I think the governor has to recognize we’ve got to shut it off and then we look forward how to fix it in a better way going forward but just to leave the tap open because we didn’t get all the way we wanted to get does not make it right.”.

Sweeney is hoping the Senate approves the limit this summer so the Assembly can act on it when it returns to Trenton.


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