GOP Plan Would Prevent Lawmakers From Banking Unused Sick Days

Senator Says Letting Legislators Accrue Sick Leave Is Costly, Unneccesary


Republican lawmakers are resurrecting a bill that would put new restrictions on paid sick leave for state legislators.

Like other state employees, state legislators receive paid sick leave as part of their compensation. Whatever sick days they don’t use they can convert to credits to purchase health insurance when they retire.

But Sen. Robert Cowles, R-Green Bay, says that unlike other workers, legislators don’t have to report their sick time, which means the costs of these credits pile up. Cowles told a state Senate panel he wants to end that.

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“The accumulation of unused sick leave credits by legislators has created an expensive — in my opinion — and unnecessary perk for legislators,” said Cowles.

Cowles’ plan would prevent lawmakers from accruing unused sick time. It would only apply prospectively, meaning the sick leave credits lawmakers have already accumulated already would not be taken away.

Democratic Sen. Robert Wirch questioned why the bill applied only to lawmakers and not to statewide officials like the governor who make more money.