Lt. Governor Kim Guadagno today called on Governor Chris Christie, Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto and Senate President Steve Sweeney to set aside the Horizon bill that is causing the deadlock in Trenton and instead take up a bill sponsored by Assembly Members Declan O’Scanlon and Nancy Muñoz that freezes existing government employee unused sick time payouts at the amounts already accumulated while eliminatinating the practice of lump sum payouts for unused sick time for new employees.
“All sides should look to alternatives to end the shutdown so the people of New Jersey don’t have to suffer any longer. The Governor, Speaker and Senate President have all telegraphed they are willing to get out of their corners and come to a compromise. Why not compromise on capping sick pay payouts? They should set aside the Horizon bill for the moment and take up the O’Scanlon-Muñoz sick leave bill, which could save up to $2 billion and deliver property tax relief for struggling New Jersey taxpayers.”
O’Scanlon, the Assembly Republican Budget Officer, said that Guadagno’s proposal could be the catalyst to break the stalemate in Trenton and reopen New Jersey’s parks, beaches, MVC offices and other “non-essential” services that have been closed since midnight on Friday when the State’s spending authority expired.
“The Governor and most of the people at the table have all signaled that we’re anxious to compromise and end the shutdown, ” O’Scanlon said in a phone interview. “It is time for Democrats in the Assembly to walk the walk.”
“Other than those kowtowing to special interests, everyone agrees that the unused sick pay reforms should be implemented, said O’Scanlon. “Governor Christie has indicated that he would accept another meaningful reform other than the Horizon bill and still sign the Democrats’ budget. The reform legislation I have proposed along with Assemblywoman Muñoz fits that criteria and will lead to significant property tax savings over time. Let’s get this done.”