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State Legislature seeking to cap or end 'cashing in' unused sick days

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New Jersey Senate Democrats introduced a bill that would cap the amount that all public workers may receive for not using unused sick pay at $15,000, while a Republican senator plans to present legislation to ban public workers altogether from “cashing in” unused sick days when they retire.

The bill to cap at $15,000, S-2300, is being sponsored by Sens. Paul Sarlo, D-Bergen, and Vin Gopal, D-Monmouth. The legislation is being opposed by unions such as the New Jersey Education Association, but both senators stated the ability for public workers to cash in unused sick days when they retire has cost the state $1.9 billion.

Currently, only public employees who started on or after Jan. 1, 2010, have a $15,000 cap.

Assemblywoman Nancy Munoz, R-21st District, said she plans to soon introduce legislation that will eliminate the practice of cashing in unused sick days at retirement.

“The reward for not being sick is not being sick,” said Munoz in a prepared statement. “Taxpayers shouldn’t have to pay someone twice for doing their job once. Taxpayers don’t get that benefit so why should they pay sky-high property taxes to give that benefit to someone else? We are putting municipal budgets and emergency reserves at risk because of it. No matter what, people are on the hook to pay higher property taxes because of this ridiculous benefit.”

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Vince Calio

Vince Calio

Vince Calio covers health care and manufacturing for NJBIZ. You can contact him at vcalio@njbiz.com.

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