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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By most measures, the national economy is doing well. We have been in expansion for almost eight years, the unemployment rate is under 5%, the stock market has hit new highs, and personal income growth—while still slow—has turned positive since the Great Recession. Read More
Budget shortfalls or changes in leadership priorities can challenge state governments as they attempt to engage in evidence-based policymaking. Laws that promote the process can help institutionalize these practices and save taxpayer dollars over the long term. Oregon sets an example in this area. Read More
Rhode Island’s General Assembly passed a law in 2016 to strengthen nutrition standards for snacks and drinks sold in schools. The bill was backed by a broad coalition of education, health, and children’s organizations. The Kids’ Safe and Healthful Foods Project asked two of the leaders—Karin Wetherill, wellness coordinator of the Rhode Island Healthy Schools Coalition, and... Read More
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