The cost to taxpayers: $96 million.
This type of perk is relatively unusual for private employers. The article cited a study that said only 16% of private employers allow employees to be paid for unused vacation time and even fewer (6%) allow employees to be paid for unused sick time.
Why do most private employers avoid these types of perks? They do it because a business model like this is typically completely unsustainable. Most private employers can’t afford perks like this, and neither can state government.
To be completely fair, I really can’t blame these people for cashing in. Who wouldn’t take advantage of a loophole that allows you to bilk the system?
The key quote to this article is, of course, at the very end:
Senate Bill 5 would have limited unused leave payouts for public employees, as well as make it illegal for public employees to strike. But voters rejected the bill, voting in November to repeal it. Republicans are not eager to resurrect any individual portions of SB 5, state legislators have said.
Senate Bill 5 was clearly designed with abuses like this in mind. Republican legislators tried to address these problems and voters said no. Now we are left to pay the consequences of that decision.
I hate to say I told you so but…