What We’re Reading: Top State Stories 6/8

US: New England governors say fighting stigma key to opioid battle

Six New England governors called on health care professionals to work with government to combat the opioid epidemic and control prescriptions, describing a grim reality of addiction across the region they govern.

MN: Minnesota governor lets $262 million tax relief bill die

Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton let die a major tax relief bill designed to help college graduates, farmers and parents with childcare costs, as well as provide state money for a new soccer stadium in St. Paul and football stadium for the Vikings.

RI: Rhode Island lawmakers reach deal on $8.9 billion budget

The proposed new budget would cut beach parking fees, reduce the corporate minimum tax and provide an election-year tax break for Rhode Island retirees.

KS: Kansas governor calls special session to try to fix funding for public schools

Republican Gov. Sam Brownback called for the session after the Kansas Supreme Court ruled that the formula the state uses to distribute one form of aid to local school districts is unconstitutional. The court gave the Legislature until June 30 to fix the formula and warned schools may not reopen in the fall if it doesn’t.

VT: Vermont governor’s wife jabs hubby, reporters with art

Democratic Gov. Peter Shumlin has filled his ceremonial office with art by his wife, Katie Hunt, which depicts the governor satirically as a gun-toting peacock and the Vermont press corps as judgmental cows in papier-mache sculptures.

LA: Louisiana lawmakers approve revisions in Common Core       

Backers said the changes would give Louisiana teachers more flexibility and clarify some of the original academic benchmarks. If the plan wins final approval, about 20 percent of the 1,287 math and English guidelines would be tweaked.

OH: Federal judge finds Ohio law on absentee, provisional ballots unconstitutional

A U.S. district judge threw out provisions in Ohio's election law that had voided absentee and provisional ballots for technical flaws made by otherwise qualified voters.

MO: Missouri budget could help ease pressure on public defender system

Missouri’s public defenders will see a $4.5 million cash infusion to hire private attorneys on a contractual basis, which would allow the office’s 370-plus attorneys to chip away at caseloads that have raised questions about whether poor defendants are being adequately represented.

PA: It soon could get easier to buy beer and wine in Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania lawmakers have signed off on legislation that will let grocery stores sell wine and formalize beer sales at convenience stores in the state.

TX: With Uber and Lyft gone, ride-hailing startups swarm Texas capital

When Uber and Lyft left Austin last month, they thought they were sending a message to the Austin City Council and other local governments looking to regulate them. Instead, their departure may pave the way for a revamp of ride-hailing that could draw the notice of other cities.

Student Data Expunging Criminal Records