What We’re Reading: Top State Stories 6/27

LA: Louisiana legislators “kick the can” on budget and taxes to next year

Louisiana lawmakers set aside no money for a projected $200 million budget deficit in the fiscal year that ends June 30. They also punted to next year a total overhaul of the tax system.

KS: Kansas lawmakers, governor move to avert schools shutdown

Republican Gov. Sam Brownback says he will sign a bipartisan school finance bill that passed both chambers of the Kansas Legislature late last week. Brownback, lawmakers and school officials hope the measure will eliminate any possibility of a school shutdown next month and satisfy a Kansas Supreme Court order for more equitable school funding.

US: Airbnb to mayors: “We want to pay taxes”

Before a gathering of more than 200 mayors, Airbnb officials extended an enticing offer: “Let us collect millions in unpaid hotel taxes for you.” The pitch is a clear sign that the home-sharing service is trying to get out in front of an issue that has pitted the upstart firm against the traditional hotel industry in virtually every city where it does business.

MO: Missouri governor vetoes concealed carry legislation

Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon vetoed legislation that would have eliminated the current Missouri requirement that gun owners get a permit to legally walk around in public with concealed guns. The wide-ranging gun bill also would have implemented a “stand your ground” law, which says people no longer have a duty to try to retreat before using lethal force if they think their life is in danger.

AK: Tiny houses start to take hold in Alaska 

As tiny houses begin to take hold in Alaska, municipal planners are considering ways to make a little room for them in Anchorage.

MT: Montana dips into savings to cover falling revenues

Montana’s rainy day fund, which neared $360 million a year ago, could fall as low as $163 million by next summer, fueling debate over how best to manage the state’s informal savings account.

DE: Delaware medical school pipeline at risk

A $1.8 million program that helps Delaware residents become doctors and creates a pipeline to supply highly qualified doctors has been cut out of the state budget, raising alarms in the state's medical community.

MD: For Maryland workers who may have been shortchanged, a hotline and many questions

Corrections officers, hospital staff and other Maryland public employees have flooded a state hotline with calls since the government admitted it has shortchanged many workers for overtime, night shifts and special assignments that involve extra pay.

US: In search of the felon-friendly workplace

The struggle to reintegrate former prisoners into society is a fundamental challenge within the federal criminal system. When released prisoners can’t find work, it contributes to a costly, negative cycle of recidivism, crime, and ultimately perhaps a return to imprisonment, all at the expense of taxpayers and communities.

IA: Iowa struggles to get repeat drunk drivers off the roads

In 2015, 26 percent of the 11,628 motorists convicted of driving impaired in Iowa had previously been caught driving while intoxicated. That's down just 3 percentage points in a dozen years.

NC: North Carolina senators move to regulate obscure tea drink

A proposal moving through the North Carolina Senate would make underage possession of Kratom, a little-known drug often served as a tea drink, a Class 2 misdemeanor.

NY: New York bill would require relatives' consent for schools to use cadavers

Ever since grave robbers haunted American cemeteries and medical students paid for fresh corpses, New York state law has appropriated unclaimed bodies on behalf of medical schools that teach anatomical dissection. But the state may soon require written consent from a spouse or next of kin before city officials can release an unclaimed body to a school, unless the deceased is already registered as a body donor.

Criminal Justice 'Golden Girls'