TRENTON – Gov. Chris Christie said Friday he will not compromise on sick-leave payouts for public workers, saying he won’t accept anything other than zero.
Today, in response to a question, he singled out Sen. Paul Sarlo, (D-36), Wood-Ridge, who has proposed capping sick leave payouts to $7,500 per employee. As he has said in the past, Christie said again today that amount would still place a $3.25-billion burden on state residents.
“Only a liberal Democrat would say three and a quarters billion dollars is a small amount of money for the property taxpayers and income taxpayers of this state,” Christie said during his press conference.
Some local police officers and superintendents have made out with hundreds of thousands of dollars cashing in unused sick days, with Christie derisively calling such high payments “boat checks.”
Sarlo proposed the cap as a compromise.
However, Christie was clear he would not budge on the issue.
“This is one where I’m not compromising,” he said. “Every dollar that accumulates from here forward is the responsibility of the Democrats in the Legislature.”
The governor portrayed the payout legislation as a thank you gift to big donors to the Democrats.
“We stand for unburdening taxpayers and not giving gifts to the public sector unions. That’s all this is,” he said. “This is a political sop to the public sector unions. They just don’t want to say no to their political patrons who just donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to their political campaigns.”
Sarlo was not immediately available for comment.