Legislators endorsed another round of early retirement incentives in hopes of reducing or even eliminating unpaid furloughs for state workers. The incentive pays state workers for their accumulated sick leave, which can amount to thousands of dollars after years of work. Republican Representative Barbara Finch of Ames says the state’s largest union, AFSCME, came up with the idea over the weekend.Democrat Representative Todd Taylor of Cedar Rapids says the decision to retire early is a tough one.Four-hundred-80 state workers took early retirement this past year, saving 11-million dollars in salaries that would have been paid those workers. In addition to the sick leave payout, those retiring state workers get to keep their health insurance ’til they reach Medicare-age.
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