What We’re Reading: Top State Stories 6/7

VT: Vermont poised to be first state to require drug companies to justify price hikes

The Legislature sent Democratic Gov. Peter Shumlin a bill that calls on state health care regulators to develop an annual list of up to 15 drugs that have seen the biggest price increases. Their manufacturers would then have to justify the increases to the attorney general’s office. Several states have considered so-called price transparency bills, but Vermont is the first to pass one.

US: Millions of nation’s children chronically absent from schools, new report says

The U.S. Education Department report found 6.5 million students — one out of every 10 — were chronically absent in the 2013-14 school year. It also found stubborn disparities in discipline, but encouraging strides in cutting the overall number of suspensions.

OK: Oklahoma revenue collections hit six-year low

State revenue collections hit a six-year low last month, as Oklahoma's economy continues to slump. May collections were lower than May 2015 for every major revenue stream, including taxes on income, sales, motor vehicles and oil and natural gas production.

MN: Minnesota offers free community college tuition to about 1,400 high school grads

Students who earned a high school diploma or equivalent degree this school year can get full tuition waivers for one- and two-year training programs at Minnesota’s 30 community and technical colleges.

MT: Low Native American representation in Montana Legislature could change

If American Indian candidates win all 11 of the seats they are running for this fall, the percentage of Native Americans in the Montana Legislature would be representative of their population in the state for the first time.

VA: U.S. Supreme Court will weigh whether Virginia districts are racially gerrymandered

The court said it would intervene in another political redistricting case from Virginia and consider whether state legislative districts were racially gerrymandered.

CA: California Supreme Court clears way for parole question to go to voters

Californians likely will be asked to decide in November whether to expand parole to thousands more inmates, now that the court has cleared the way for the question to be on the ballot. Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown says the early release of inmates is needed to comply with a federal court order to reduce the prison population.

DC: $15 minimum wage deal reached in District of Columbia

Labor unions in the District of Columbia are reporting that they’ve reached a deal with the mayor and city council to increase the minimum wage for most workers to $15 an hour by 2020. The wage for tipped workers would increase from $2.77 to $5 under the deal.

NV: Nevada Department of Corrections wants $1.5 million for medical care, staffing

The department says it needs the money from a contingency fund to cover a shortfall in paying for inmate medical care and to staff an additional unit at a Southern Nevada women’s prison.

TX: Texas county bans patrol car crosses to settle atheist lawsuit

Despite support from Republican Gov. Greg Abbott, officials in a rural Texas county have agreed to ban the display of Christian crosses on sheriff’s vehicles to settle a lawsuit by the national Freedom From Religion Foundation. 

OH: How does Ohio spend $72 billion? New budget website helps answer that question

The state Office of Budget and Management unveiled its Ohio Interactive Budget website, a new tool that helps explain to the public how the state generates revenue and spends it. 

Expunging Criminal Records Contraband Cellphones