Court

California high court hears suit on 2012 pension reform law

The California Supreme Court grappled Tuesday with whether to uphold a state law designed to help reduce a shortfall of hundreds of billions of dollars in state and local pension systems.

During a hearing, the state’s highest court did not clearly indicate which way it would rule. Only four of the court’s seven justices asked questions, and those who did speak challenged both sides in the dispute.

The court is considering a challenge by unions to a 2012 law that forbade the practice of “pension spiking” for all government employees. The practice involves inflating a future pensioner’s pay, usually at the end of their career, by cashing in years of accumulated vacation or sick pay or volunteering for extra duties.

Because pension payments are calculated based on a worker’s highest year of earnings, spiking can produce a more lucrative retirement than what the employee earned on the job. At least

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Court rules insurers can collect $12B under health care law

The Supreme Court has ruled that insurance companies can collect $12 billion from the federal government to cover their losses in the early years of the health care law championed by President Barack Obama

WASHINGTON —
The Supreme Court ruled Monday that insurance companies can collect $12 billion from the federal government to cover their losses in the early years of the health care law championed by President Barack Obama.

Insurers are entitled to the money under a provision of the “Obamacare” health law that promised the companies a financial cushion for losses they might incur by selling coverage to people in the marketplaces created by the health care law, the justices said by an 8-1 vote.

The program only lasted three years, but Congress

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Court reinstates California ammunition purchase law