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.

Recent Work

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  • Governing by the Numbers

    • Event

    Live in Denver: Join Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper on Oct. 14 as he kicks off a series of discussions on evidence-based governing, with a special focus on election administration and tax incentives. Read More

  • How States Can Assess the Affordability of Their Debt

    When a state government faces a large expense, such as restoring an aging bridge or repairing a deteriorating highway, officials often choose to borrow the money to pay for the project. Distributing the cost of a large investment over many years helps governments in the same way a homeowner might take out a loan to replace a roof or finance a renovation—it frees up cash on hand to meet... Read More

  • State Strategies to Detect Local Fiscal Distress

    As local governments across the country struggle to resolve budgetary challenges, some states are exploring ways to help their counties, cities, towns, and villages avoid defaulting on loans or filing for bankruptcy. Read More

Our Approach

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

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