State lawmakers play a major role in advancing the quality of Americans’ lives, from helping to protect the air we breathe and water we drink, to educating our children. By researching emerging topics and developing 50-state comparisons, Pew identifies innovative approaches states are using to help solve complex challenges. Pew also conducts extensive research and analysis to understand how states can better serve the public, and we work with states to develop data-driven, pragmatic solutions to issues such as children’s dental health, the growing costs of incarceration, the need for cost-effective, high-quality home visiting programs, public pensions, and making voting more accurate, convenient, and secure.
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Most states have thinner financial cushions now than they did heading into the Great Recession. Overall, states had enough money in general fund budget reserves in fiscal year 2007—just before the economic downturn—to run government operations for a median of 41.3 days. That compares with 31.6 days in fiscal 2015 and an estimated 29.2 days in fiscal 2016. Read More
The U.S. employment rate for adults of prime working age rose during the 12 months that ended in June 2016, extending an uptrend that began more than four years earlier. But even with those gains, the percentage of 25- to 54-year-olds with a job in fiscal year 2016 clearly remained lower than in calendar year 2007, just before the Great Recession, nationally and in 18 states. Read More
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