Gov. Chris Christie says he's encouraged by legislation introduced this week by state Senate President Steve Sweeney to curtail the practice of public employees cashing out sick time when they retire.

Legislation to curb sick-time payouts has been stalled since December 2010, when Christie vetoed a measure to allow for a $15,000 payout cap going forward. The governor said the cash value of unused sick time should be eliminated.

Christie also wanted current employees to draw down on their banked time when taking future vacation or sick days -- something he has since backed off.

Sweeney has offered a plan that stops future payouts but allows workers to keep the days they've already saved.

Christie says that's a good starting point and commended Sweeney for taking action on the measure.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)