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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  • Louisiana Adopts Landmark Criminal Justice Reforms

    Governor John Bel Edwards (D) signed a broadly bipartisan package of 10 bills June 15 that aims to reduce crime and incarceration by steering less serious offenders away from prison, strengthening alternatives to imprisonment, and clearing away barriers to success during re-entry. With these changes in sentencing and corrections laws, Louisiana is likely to shed its title of the most incarcerated... Read More

  • House Bill Would Reduce Costly Rebuilding of Repeatedly Flooded Properties

    The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), the federal program that helps residents, business owners, and communities recover from flooding, may be getting some help from Congress. After months of discussion, the House of Representatives Financial Services Committee on Wednesday passed legislation to reauthorize and improve the NFIP, which is $25 billion in debt. And, while those deliberations... Read More

  • How States Can Make the Most of Their Rainy Day Funds

    To minimize the need for uncomfortable choices between raising taxes or cutting spending, 48 states have created budget stabilization funds—rainy day funds—that take advantage of boom times by directing surplus revenue into savings that can offset future shortfalls. However, many of these funds lack rules to effectively smooth the ups and downs in revenue. Designing a robust fund, and... Read More

Can Public Policy Be Inventive?

Our Sue Urahn shares the latest facts and examples from across the U.S. in Trend magazine. 

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Pew applies a rigorous, analytical approach to improve public policy, inform the public, and invigorate civic life.

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