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

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  • The Latest on Drug Spending: Arkansas Regulates Pharmacy Benefit Managers

    Rising drug costs remain top of mind for policymakers and payers, who continue to consider ideas to rein in spending at the state and national levels. From efforts intended to reduce out-of-pocket costs for patients to pending policy proposals from the Trump administration, here are some recent developments on this issue.  Read More

  • New Interactive Tools Track Bills and Laws

    States spend billions of dollars annually on health care costs, and policymakers increasingly recognize that decisions made in sectors such as transportation, energy, and housing affect those expenditures. To ensure that health is considered in decision-making, leaders in several states have taken up bills to require that local officials, planners, and others evaluate potential health effects... Read More

  • The State Pension Funding Gap: 2016

    Many state retirement systems are on an unsustainable course, coming up short on their investment targets and having failed to set aside enough money to fund the pension promises made to public employees. Even as contributions from taxpayers over the past decade doubled as a share of state revenue, the total still fell short of what is needed to improve the funding situation. 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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Our Approach

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

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