By: - March 18, 2015 12:00 am

CA: Drought-stricken California orders new water conservation rules

Acknowledging that California’s water conservation efforts are falling short as the state descends into a fourth year of punishing drought, Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown’s administration imposed new mandatory conservation rules that will affect millions of people starting next month—from how  homeowners water their lawns to how restaurants and hotels serve their guests.

ME: Maine universities freeze tuition for fourth straight year

University of Maine System trustees have relied on higher state aid and reserve funds to make the freeze on in-state tuition possible. Maine is the only state to have no tuition increases, adjusted for inflation, in the past five years. Nationwide, in-state tuition has increased 17 percent over the same period at public four-year institutions.

NM: A farewell to time changes? N.M. Senate approves bill to do it

New Mexico could be on its way to doing away with “springing forward” and “falling back,” after the Senate passed a bill that would keep the state on daylight saving time year round. Time-change bills have been proposed this year in at least 11 other states, including Arizona, Texas and Oklahoma. Some of the bills would make daylight saving time permanent, while others would opt out of daylight saving time.

OR: Oregon House votes to ban ‘conversion therapy’ for children

The House approved a bill aimed at banning conversion therapy for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender youth. California, New Jersey and Washington, D.C., have passed bills banning the practice. Lawmakers in a dozen other states are considering similar legislation.

LA: Louisiana should sell tobacco settlement for upfront cash, Jindal says

Republican Gov. Bobby Jindal is moving ahead with a plan to sell Louisiana’s remaining share of a massive tobacco settlement, despite criticism the move would waste a valuable asset for a quick fix to budget problems.

KS: Kansas moves closer to allowing concealed guns without a permit

A House committee approved a bill that would let Kansans 21 or older carry concealed firearms without a permit. The Senate approved it last month.

MA: Mass. attorney general proposes banning e-cigarettes for minors

Democratic Attorney General Maura Healey proposed regulations to bar the sale of e-cigarettes to people younger than 18 across all of Massachusetts. Dozens of municipalities in the state already have.

AR: Hutchinson calls for review of Arkansas’s child welfare programs

Republican Gov. Asa Hutchinson has ordered an independent review of Arkansas’s child welfare system, a move that comes after a state representative acknowledged turning over custody of two adopted children to a man who later sexually assaulted one of them.

MD: Maryland House votes to replenish public campaign fund

The House of Delegates approved a bill backed by Republican Gov. Larry Hogan that would put a Fair Campaign Financing Fund check-off box back on Maryland state income tax forms. The bill, which needs Senate approval, would be the first step in replenishing a public fund that was used by Hogan last year to help finance his underdog gubernatorial bid.

AZ: Arizona bill would limit protections for saguaro cactus

An Arizona state representative, who is a former homebuilder, is sponsoring a bill that would prohibit cities from requiring that saguaros and other native vegetation be transplanted when open land is developed.

TX: Deregulating tuition slowed increase, Texas universities say

Texas lawmakers riled up by higher education costs want to regain their control of setting tuition at state colleges and universities. But at most schools, tuition has gone up more slowly since the schools took over the job.

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Stateline staff
Stateline staff

Stateline’s team of veteran journalists combines original reporting with a roundup of the latest news from sources around the country.