A host of lawmakers take advantage of a state law intended to expand participation in the legislative process by allowing public employees to come to Trenton without fear of being fired or having to burn through vacation and sick days when meeting their legislative duties.
A Star-Ledger analysis found that 15 lawmakers have accrued about $850,000 worth of unused time at their public jobs back home.
Assemblyman Ronald Dancer (R-Ocean) wants to change the state law and force public employees to use their days when they come to Trenton. He says lawmakers are paid a $49,000 salary for their time, and there’s no reason they should be excused from their full-time job without paying some price.
“You should not be paid twice,” said Dancer, who provided records that show he uses up his personal days from his $72,372-a-year job as an Ocean County adjuster when coming to Trenton. “If you’re here, dock yourself. That’s the right thing to do.”
For the past decade, Dancer has tried to get a hearing on a bill that would level the playing field between the public and private sector by forcing public employees to use vacation and personal days when coming to Trenton.