TOMS RIVER, NJ – A bill pending passage in the New Jersey Assembly, proposed by New Jersey District 10 Assemblymen Gregory P. McGuckin and John Catalano is asking for the state to further penalize local school districts. Those districts are already under fire from the state with millions of dollars in already reduced state aid. The bill takes aim a paid absences upon retirement by teachers, union employees, administrators and other employees, but penalizes the districts and student population for those payments.
This bill would require each municipality to report to the Director of the Division of Local Government Services annually, as part of its budget, the amount paid by a municipality to its employees for accumulated absences upon their retirement in the previous budget year. The bill also would require the State Treasurer to reduce the total amount of financial assistance provided to each municipality in the next succeeding State fiscal year from Consolidated Municipal Property Tax Relief Aid, Energy Tax Receipts Property Tax Relief Aid, Extraordinary Aid or Transitional Aid to Localities, or any combination thereof, by the amount of those unused sick leave payments. Similarly, the bill requires that the Commissioner of Education reduce a school district’s State aid by the amount paid to the district’s employees for accumulated absences upon retirement, as identified in the district’s most recent annual audit.
“The purpose of this bill is to ensure that a municipality or school district does not use State aid as a means to pay its employees for egregious amounts of accumulated absences accrued over long careers in government,” McGuckin’s bill said. “The sponsor believes that if municipalities and districts choose to have policies that require payment for accumulated absences at the end of an employee’s career, the property taxpayers of those entities should cover those costs.”