What We're Reading: Top State Stories 12/6

US: Supply of U.S. high school graduates is stagnating

The number of students graduating from high school is projected to decline starting in about eight years, which will put pressure on colleges to fill classrooms and on employers seeking to fill jobs.

NM: New Mexico facing $69 million deficit, more trouble on horizon

New Mexico’s budget woes show no signs of abating, as revenue estimates show the state facing an estimated deficit of about $69 million for the current budget year even if all cash reserves are spent.

NJ: New Jersey governor vetoes limits on solitary confinement

Republican Gov. Chris Christie vetoed legislation that would have limited the use of solitary confinement as a last resort in New Jersey prisons and jails.

NC, VA: U.S. Supreme Court weighs race challenges to legislative districts

Justices appeared unsure how to determine when states have unlawfully considered race while drawing legislative districts as they weighed cases in which Republicans in Virginia and North Carolina were accused of trying to dilute the clout of black voters.

CA: California's legislative session begins with a message: We're ready to fight Trump

Lawmakers announced bills that would provide attorneys to immigrants in the country illegally, refuse assistance to any proposed registry of Muslim immigrants and require any wall built along the Mexican border to first be approved by California voters.

US: U.S. drivers rack up the miles faster than ever

Americans drove a record 2.4 trillion miles this year through September, likely the result of lower gasoline prices and an improving economy. That’s an increase over the 2.35 trillion miles they drove in the first nine months of last year.

AR: Arkansas governor establishes ‘Office of Transformation’ to promote efficiency

Republican Gov. Asa Hutchinson says the new office will create a statewide strategic plan, centralize state-run services and promote the state’s online services.

WV: West Virginia’s prison population tops previous peak

West Virginia has 7,115 inmates, 5,887 inmates in state correctional facilities, and 1,228 inmates in regional jails and awaiting prison beds. That tops its peak population of 2012, the year before the state took steps designed to reduce prison overcrowding.

AK: Alaska looks to federal government to help sustain insurance market

Alaska's has gained national attention for defraying large increases in monthly premiums that insurers charge their customers in the individual market. Now it is looking to the federal government to pay some of the cost.

KY: Kentucky students often restrained unnecessarily, report says

Students with disabilities and students of color are the most likely to be restrained and secluded in Kentucky’s schools, a new report says. The number of all students restrained rose to 6,489 in the last school year compared to 5,985 in 2014-15.

WY: Medicaid expansion dies quietly in Wyoming

Republican Gov. Matt Mead, who had championed Medicaid expansion for the past two years, said that he was not going to press lawmakers on the issue next year. There are too many unknowns under the incoming presidential administration, he said.

MS: Mississippi chairman wants crackdown on uninsured motorists

The chairman of the House Insurance Committee wants his Mississippi colleagues to pass a bill that gives tax collectors authority to verify insurance coverage when drivers renew their auto tags.

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