News

New Jersey Lawmakers Try Again On Capping Payouts For Sick Days

TRENTON, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) — Two New Jersey lawmakers introduced a new effort to end huge payouts to retiring public workers for not using their sick days.

The move comes after Republican Sen. Joe Kyrillos said Middletown Township shelled out $250,000 to its retiring police chief for unused sick and vacation time, WCBS 880’s Jim Smith reported.

Kyrillos and Senate President Steve Sweeney, a Democrat, introduced a bill to cap the payouts at $15,000 for retiring school and government employees.

New Jersey Lawmakers Try Again On Capping Payouts For Sick Days

WCBS 880's Jim Smith reports

“We can no longer sit idly by and wait for the issue to solve itself,” they said in a joint statement. “We look forward to working with our colleagues in the Legislature and the governor to pass this law and start bringing some sanity to the whole process.”

The Legislature has gone down this road before.

In 2010, lawmakers adopted a $15,000 cap and Gov. Chris Christie vetoed it, saying he did not want to allow any payouts at all.

The Democrats who control both chambers of the Legislature offered to reduce the payout limit to $7,500, but Christie said he wouldn’t go for that either.

Since 2010, lawmakers have introduced several variations on the bill but none so far has gotten a vote of the full Senate or Assembly, partly because of a looming veto from Christie for measures that include payouts.

As for the chances of Christie signing this legislation, even with a Republican ally on board in the Legislature, a spokesman for the governor said “nothing’s changed.”

“Sick time is for when you are sick,” Christie spokesman Michael Drewniak said. “It should have no additional value than that and should not be an extra retirement windfall. In other words, zero still means zero.”

In a statement, Kyrillos said he sees the bill with Sweeney as a step toward eventually eliminating any payouts.

Check Out These Other Stories From CBSNewYork.com:

(TM and © Copyright 2014 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2014 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)