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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  • Deciding Who Drives

    U.S. citizens and lawful immigrants can routinely obtain and renew driver’s licenses, and some states have decided to allow unauthorized immigrants to do so as well. As of the summer of 2015, 10 states—California, Colorado, Connecticut, Illinois, Maryland, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah, Vermont, and Washington—and the District of Columbia issue driver’s licenses to this... Read More

  • From Pew: New Research on Retirement Plans

    Over the last three decades, the U.S. private sector retirement system has undergone significant change. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, between 1980 and 2014 the proportion of private sector employees enrolled in defined benefit pension plans decreased from 38 percent to 16 percent. At the same time, participation in employer-sponsored 401(k) plans and individual retirement accounts... Read More

  • Criminal Justice Reform Panel

    Join The Pew Charitable Trusts in Washington and via live webcast Oct. 1, 2015, to hear Utah Governor Gary Herbert and a panel of Utah leaders discuss the sentencing and corrections legislation they enacted this year to halt prison growth and deliver a greater public safety return on the state’s corrections spending.  Read More

Our Approach


Through our non-partisan reporting and research, advocacy, and technical assistance we help cities and states deliver better results.

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