What We're Reading: Top State Stories 3/7

CA: University of California proposes cap on out-of-state students 

The University of California proposed a 20 percent limit on nonresident undergraduate enrollment, which would make it the first public research university system in the nation to limit enrollment by out-of-state students. Last year, lawmakers threatened to hold back $18.5 million if the system did not put a cap on students from outside California.

AR: Arkansas governor seeks new restrictions on Medicaid plan

Republican Gov. Asa Hutchinson wants to add a work requirement to Arkansas' hybrid Medicaid expansion and to lower its eligibility cap, which would add new restrictions to the program even as the future of the Affordable Care Act remains unclear.

SD: Bill aimed at increasing penalties for protesters advances in South Dakota

The bill would allow South Dakota’s governor, along with a local sheriff and the commissioner of school and public lands, to prohibit groups larger than 20 from congregating on land under state supervision, and set additional penalties for protesters who trespass in areas deemed public safety zones.

UT: 1 of every 4 bills in Utah Legislature poses potential conflict of interest for sponsors

An analysis of conflict-of-interest forms filed by Utah legislators and bills introduced this year found that about 27 percent of the proposals are on topics closely related to their sponsors' day jobs or other personal interests, or those of spouses.

PA: Pennsylvania Senate Democrats resist ransom in cyberattack

Pennsylvania's top state Senate Democrat said no ransom has been paid to resolve a cyberattack that shut down the caucus' network and prompted an FBI investigation.

NM: Bill to bring back death penalty in New Mexico stalls

A bill to reinstate New Mexico’s death penalty for those convicted of certain violent crimes stalled just five months after similar legislation was approved by the House. Republican Gov. Susana Martinez called last year for the death penalty to be brought back after a spate of high-profile crimes in the state.

HI: New affordable housing units planned for Hawaii artists 

An 84-unit affordable housing complex to be built in Honolulu will be set aside for Hawaii artists, with an arts and culture center established on the ground floor.

OK: Oklahoma weighs giving civil immunity to those who destroy drones over private property

A bill headed to the Senate floor would make Oklahoma property owners who destroy drones flying over their land immune from civil action, if there is a reasonable expectation of privacy.

ND: North Dakota considers bill to keep job applicants for top college jobs confidential

Worried that potential job candidates may not want their names to be made public, legislators are considering a bill that would allow records for those applying to be president or chancellor at schools in the North Dakota University System to be kept confidential until they’re named as finalists.

KS: Kansas bill would grant access to cold-case, missing-person files

A Kansas Senate committee will weigh whether the public should have more access to investigation records from the cold-case files of missing-person reports that are more than 25 years old, files that are generally exempt from disclosure under the state’s open records law.

WI: Wisconsin school districts' debt soars after $1.35 billion in new borrowing

Public school districts in Wisconsin are in the midst of a building boom, financed by a surge in new debt not seen since the 1990s, a new analysis by a taxpayers group has found.

WV: West Virginia governor touts proposed tax, fee hikes to fix state roads

Democratic Gov. Jim Justice is out campaigning for his proposal to increase the state’s gasoline tax by 4.5 cents a gallon, motor vehicle fees from $30 to $50, and tolls on the West Virginia Turnpike from $2 to $4 to repair and maintain the state’s roads.

MO: University of Missouri System payments to top officials questioned by state auditor

About $1.2 million in incentive payments made to top executives and administrators in the University of Missouri System appear to have violated the state constitution, according to results of a Missouri state audit.

Occupational Licensing Flow of Refugees to Halt Temporarily
Philadelphia Museum of Art