TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — New Jersey Senate President Steve Sweeney on Tuesday introduced a bill to curtail the practice of public employees cashing out sick time when they retire, allowing workers to keep the amount of money they've accrued but preventing them from banking any more sick leave going forward.

Legislation to curb sick-time payouts has been stalled since December 2010, when GOP Gov. Chris Christie vetoed a measure to allow for a $15,000 payout cap going forward, saying that cash value of unused sick time should be eliminated. Christie also wanted current employees to draw down on their banked time when taking future vacation or sick days — something he has since backed off.

While the governor has eased on freezing benefits retroactively, he pushed hard to get rid of payouts going forward. At town hall events, the governor has ridiculed Democrats for stalling on the issue and has started referring to the payouts as "boat checks" because some retirees who worked in the public sector and banked their sick time have been using the payments to buy boats.

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