A little over a year ago Governor Chris Christie conditionally vetoed legislation that would have provided $15,000 payouts for public workers’ unused sick and vacation time. He returned the bill with changes to eliminate any cash value for unused sick days moving forward, and limit the ability to carry forward unused vacation days to one year only. For 375 days, the legislature has failed to act on the conditional veto to provide reform of this broken system.

State Senate Budget Committee chairman Paul Sarlo has a bill that would cap the payouts at $7,500, but he’s not advancing because Christie has said he’ll veto it. For weeks, Christie has been saying, “Zero means Zero.”

Christie explains, “The reality is that the abusive practice of cashing out unused sick time has a direct and significant impact on local budgets and our overburdened property taxpayers. In New Brunswick, the highest per-taxpayer liability in the state, the average property taxpayer is on the hook for over $1300, for nothing more than unused public worker sick and vacation days. And in Jersey City, the total liability to taxpayers is an astounding $74 million.”