Sick Leave, Butterfly and More: NJ Lawmakers Wrap Up 2015

TRENTON (AP) -

New Jersey lawmakers ended the last voting session of 2015 with a flurry of votes Thursday on nearly 100 bills, from establishing a state butterfly to requiring businesses to offer workers paid sick leave.

Absent from the agenda was a way to pay for the state’s diminishing transportation trust fund, though legislators advanced a proposed constitutional amendment to require all the state’s fuel taxes be used only for infrastructure.

A proposed constitutional amendment requiring New Jersey to make quarterly public pension payments was approved by an Assembly committee. The measure could end up on the ballot as a referendum in 2016. Gov. Chris Christie criticized the proposal as a payback by unions who back Democrats.

Another bill approved would ask voters to weigh in on whether the state’s gas taxes should be solely reserved for transportation projects. Another requires businesses to provide workers with one hour of earned sick leave for every 30 hours worked.