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Quick action expected on 'double-dipping' bill

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MADISON (WRN)  A state lawmaker who has led the charge to make it harder for public employees to double-dip wants the issue removed from the state budget. Instead, state Senator Rob Cowles (R-Green Bay) wants the bill taken up on its own and as quickly as possible.

Cowles says the practice known as “double dipping,” which allows public employees to retire from their job and then return to the same position to collect a salary and benefits, persists because the current waiting period does not discourage workers and employers from making a rehiring agreement. He wants to implement a 75 to 100 day period to prevent that “wink and a nod, and then somebody comes back.”

Governor Walker included a 75-day waiting period in his budget proposal. Cowles wants it debated as a standalone bill though and is pushing to remove it from the spending plan. He’s expecting resistance to the move, but argues it’s a policy issue that needs to be taken up on its own.

The double dipping issue came to light after a top UW-Green Bay official came back to his old job shortly after retiring. Cowles says many other people appear to be gaming the system in similar ways.

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