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Governor Christie Conditionally Vetoes S2220

Governor Christie Conditionally Vetoes S2220

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Governor Christie conditionally vetoes S2220 on December 9, 2010 which would address the payment to public employees of so-called "supplemental compensation" for unused sick days at the time of retirement, as well as the accumulation of vacation leave and the undocumented use of sick leave during the twelve months prior to a public employee's retirement.
Governor Christie conditionally vetoes S2220 on December 9, 2010 which would address the payment to public employees of so-called "supplemental compensation" for unused sick days at the time of retirement, as well as the accumulation of vacation leave and the undocumented use of sick leave during the twelve months prior to a public employee's retirement.

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Categories:Types, Letters
Published by: Governor Chris Christie on Aug 09, 2011
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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07/10/2013

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STATEOFNEWJERSEY
EXECUTIVEDEPARTMENT
December9,2010SENATEBILLNO.2220(FirstReprint)TotheSenate:PursuanttoArticleV,SectionI,Paragraph14oftheNewJerseyConstitution,IamreturningSenateBillNo.2220(FirstReprint)withmyrecommendationsforreconsideration.Thisbilladdressesthepaymenttopublicemployeesofso-called"supplementalcompensation"forunusedsickdaysatthetimeofretirement,aswellastheaccumulationofvacationleaveandtheundocumenteduseofsickleaveduringthetwelvemonthspriortoapublicemployee'sretirement.Istartwiththissimple,commonsenseproposition:sickleaveistobeusedwhenyouaresick,notasasupplementalretirementfundpaidforbythetaxpayersforpeoplewhoalreadyhavetaxpayerfundedpensions.WhileIrecognizethesponsors'effortstoaddresspublicemployeebenefits,thisbilldoesnotsufficientlyremedythegapsincurrentlawthatrequiretaxpayerstocontinual.lyfundunreasonablepayoutstopublicemployees.Moreover,Ibelievethesafeguardsestablishedinthebilltoensurethatsickleaveisusedonlyforlegitimatehealthabsencesshouldbeexpandedtoapplytoallpublicemployees.Iam,therefore,recommendinganumberofcommonsensechangestostrengthenthebill'sprovisionsandprovidegreaterrelieftoNewJerseytaxpayers.Ascurrentlydrafted,thebillwouldestablisha$15,000caponpaymentsforaccumulatedunusedsickleavetocurrentandfutureofficersandemployeesoflocalgovernmentsandschooldistricts.IsupportedthistypeofreformwhenIsignedlegislationearlierthisyearestablishinga$15,000caponsupplementalcompensationpaymentsforunusedsickleavetonewlyhiredlocalandschoolemployees.Stateemployeeshave
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STATEOFNEWJERSEY
EXECUTlVEDEPARTMENT
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beensubjecttoacaponsuch"supplementalcompensation"foryears,andthisbillwouldclosethecurrentloopholessothatalllocalgovernmentandschooldistrictemployeesaresubjecttothesamecap.Buttrulyreformingthecurrentpracticeofpayingunlimited"supplementalcompensation"requiresthatwegofurtherthanthislegislationdoesinitscurrentform.Whateverrationaleoncejustifiedpayingpublicemployeescashforunusedsickdaysatretirement,thetimehascomeforthepracticetoend.Sickdaysprovidetimeoffforemployeeswhoaresick,anddonotrepresentanadditionalformofcompensationforemployeeswhoarefortunateenoughtoremainhealthy.Thesecashpayoutscanbesubstantialandoftentimesoverwhelmmunicipalbudgets.Indeed,anumberofmunicipalitieshaveresortedtoissuingbondsinordertopay"supplementalcompensation"toretiringpublicemployees.Accordingly,Irecommendthatthepracticeofdistributingcashpayoutsforunusedsickleavebephasedoutbyprohibitingsupplementalcompensationforsickdaysthataccumulateaftertheeffectivedateoftheact.ThelawshouldapplyequallytoStateemployeesandthoseemployedbylocalgovernmentsandschooldistricts.Employeeswillstillbeabletoaccumulatesickdays,butthosedayscouldbeusedonlyforapropermedicalpurpose,notasaretirementbenefit.Further,toassistinreducingsupplementalcompensationpayouts,thebillshouldprovidethatanysickleaveaccruedpriortotheeffectivedateoftheactmustbeusedbeforesickleaveaccruedafter.ThebillwouldaIsoimposelimitsontheuseofsickleavebyaState,localgovernment,orschooldistrictemployee.Initscurrentform,thebillwouldprohibittheuseofsixormore
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STATEOFNEWJERSEY
EXECUTIVEDEPARTMENT
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consecutivedaysofaccumulatedsickleavewithoutmedicalnecessityverifiedinwritingbyaphysician.Toenforcethisrequirement,thebillwouldallowanemployertorequiretheofficeroremployeetosubmittoanexaminationbyaphysicianselectedbytheemployertoverifytheclaimedmedicalnecessity.Critically,however,thebillonlywouldimposetheselimitationsonemployeeshiredafteritseffectivedate,andthenonlyinthetwelvemonthsbeforetheemployee'sretirement.WhileIbelievethelimitationsproposedbythebillarearguablyreasonabletoinsurethatsickleaveabuseisnotencouraged,thereisnosensiblereasonwhytheserequirementsshouldnotalsoapplyt.ocurrentemployees.Similarly,inlightofthepotentialforfrivolousclaimsofsickleavetooccuratanytimeduringanemployee'sservice,itmakesnosensetolimitthebill'sprovisionstothetwelvemonthspriortoretirement;rather,thebillshouldapplytotheentiretyofapublicemployee'stenure.Thebillalsoaddressesunusedvacationleave,allowingallpublicemployeestocarryforwardoneyearofunusedtimeaftertheeffectivedate.Whileit
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reasonabletoallowthislimitedoneyearcarryover,thebillshouldprovidethatvacationleaveaccruedpriortotheeffectivedateoftheactmustbeusedbeforenewlyaccruedvacationtime.Finally,itisessentialthatthebilladdresstheissueofsupplementalcompensationforemployeeswhohave,ormayhave,abusedthepublictrus1:.Recently,aschooldistrictemployeeretiredwhileunderindictmentforcorruptionrelatedtohispositionandpressaccountsindicatethathe
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bepaidforhisunusedleave.Toavoidsuchaninequitableresult,myrecommendationswouldrequirethepaymentofcompensationbe
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