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Christie Says Democrat’s Sick-Leave Proposal May Result in Deal

Feb. 8 (Bloomberg) -- New Jersey Governor Chris Christie said he’s hopeful that a proposal by the Democratic leader of the state Senate to end cash payouts to public workers for unused sick time will end in a deal.

Senate President Stephen Sweeney, of West Deptford, introduced a bill to prohibit public workers from cashing in unused sick time beyond what they’ve already accumulated. Christie, a Republican, said his staff and Sweeney’s are discussing “minor changes” to the bill, which differs from past Democratic proposals to cap the payouts at a specific amount.

“I’m very encouraged by Senator Sweeney’s bill and once again he’s taken a very courageous step forward,” Christie, 49, told reporters today after a town-hall meeting in Westfield. “We’ve gotten to the core of something I can be very encouraged about.”

Christie vetoed a Democrat-sponsored bill in 2010 that would have limited the payments to $15,000. He also rejected a version with a $7,500 maximum, saying it would cost taxpayers $3.25 billion if all current state and local employees retired.

To contact the reporter on this story: Terrence Dopp in Trenton at tdopp@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Mark Tannenbaum at mtannen@bloomberg.net

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