A new report released by the NJ Commission of Investigation finds local governments can save tens of millions by eliminating,”wasteful and out-of-control” benefits to local government employees. Practices include: cash payouts for unused leave, bonuses and severance…and paid time off to go Christmas shopping.”Startling amounts of taxpayer-funded booty continue to be dispensed across New Jersey without regard for the common good.”
Some of the recommendations for reform are telling:
- Cap awards for unused leave
- Ban cashing-in on unused leave while still employed
- Eliminate “terminal leave” – allowing workers to collect full pay without showing up for work months before actual retirement.
- Eliminate paid time off for shopping, weddings, and other personal business
In terms of dollars wasted, just looking at a small fraction of local governments the Commission found $39 million in excessive payouts.
Saying no to the public sector unions may be a little easier this year in light of the latest budgetary news – the state will freeze $400 million in aid to municipal governments. There’s little choice. The state’s massive budget shortfall is likely to surpass $8 billion.