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’s tax exemptions for horizontal oil and natural gas drilling cost the state less than a million dollars in fiscal year 2008. Two years later, the exemptions cost well over $200 million. For states, experiences like that have become common. In many cases, the costs of incentives have increased quickly and unexpectedly. When that happens, states risk out-of-balance budgets, forcing... Read More
A Pew report published in August 2015 analyzed the experiences of 11 jurisdictions—California, Colorado, Connecticut, Illinois, Maryland, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah, Vermont, and Washington, plus the District of Columbia—that issue alternative driver’s licenses to unauthorized immigrants. Deciding Who Drives explored how these jurisdictions designed and implemented their laws and... Read More
During the 2015 legislative session, Delaware and Hawaii passed laws permitting unauthorized immigrants to apply for driver’s licenses, and the governors signed the bills into law on June 30, 2015. The states are expected to begin issuing licenses at the end of 2015 and in early 2016, respectively. Read More