Senate Democrats Block HUNTERDON STATE SENATOR Doherty Sick Leave Reforms

Democrats in the New Jersey Senate blocked the consideration of sick leave reforms sponsored by Senator Jennifer Beck (R-11) and Senator Michael Doherty (R-23) that would address a nearly $2 billion liability for property taxpayers.

Senate Democrats tabled Sen. Jennifer Beck’s sick leave reform effort during the Senate session on June 22, 2017. (SenateNJ.com)

Senators Beck and Doherty made motions to relieve S-2947 and S-572 from the committee process for consideration by the full New Jersey Senate.

“We’ve tried repeatedly to put an end to the outrageous six-figure payouts that drive up property tax bills statewide,” said Beck. “Democrats, however, continue to block our reforms that would end this abusive practice and make New Jersey more affordable. To be clear, this is a billion dollars of property tax relief that New Jersey Democrats have denied.”

In one recent example of abuse, the retiring police chief of Jersey City was paid $512,620 for 450 unused days.

“No public employee should get a half-million dollar check at taxpayer expense simply because they were blessed with health,” said Doherty. “It’s inexplicable that New Jersey Democrats continue to defend this blatant abuse of property taxpayers.”

Senator Doherty’s S-572 would end the practice known as “terminal leave” when a public employee, in anticipation of retirement, is permitted to use up accumulated days of sick leave. The bill requires a verified medical necessity to use six of more consecutive accumulated sick days in the 12 months prior to retirement.

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Senate Democrats blocked consideration of sick leave reform legislation sponsored by Sen. Mike Doherty on June 22, 2017. (SenateNJ.com)

Senator Beck’s S-2947 would limit payouts at retirement to $10,000 for accumulated unused sick leave for all public employees, and limit the carrying forward of vacation leave for one year only.

Previous Senate Republican efforts to move sick leave reform legislation were blocked on February 13th and March 13th.