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 dental health, the growing costs of incarceration, the need for cost-effective public pensions, and making voting more accurate, convenient, and secure.

Recent Work

View All
  • What Might Help—or Hurt—Access to Dental Care This Year

    The current dental care delivery system makes it difficult for tens of millions of Americans to access care. Many people cannot get regular care because a dentist is too far away, will not accept Medicaid, or is prohibitively expensive. From rural communities to urban areas, people go without being treated by a dentist for far too long or seek treatment in emergency rooms when their problems... Read More

  • Best Practices for Improving Fiscal Management

    The Pew Charitable Trusts’ states’ fiscal health project studies the budget and economic challenges facing states and helps them design targeted, evidence-based solutions. The project addresses four policy areas: strengthening economic development tax incentives; building effective budget reserves; ensuring that debt is affordable; and evaluating municipal finances. Read More

  • State Prison Health Care Spotlight Series

    To accompany its October 2017 report “Prison Health Care: Costs and Quality—How and Why States Strive for High-Performing Systems,” The Pew Charitable Trusts has published a series of analyses that explain key findings and themes on how health care is funded and delivered in state-run prisons, as well as how care continuity is facilitated upon release of those who have been... Read More

Can Public Policy Be Inventive?

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

Read essay

Our Approach

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

Learn More