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

View All
  • Prison Health Care Costs and Quality

    Prison health care sits at the intersection of pressing state priorities. From protecting public safety to fighting disease and promoting physical and behavioral health, and from fine-tuning budgets that trim waste to investing in cost-effective programming with long-term payoffs, the health care that prisons provide to incarcerated individuals and the care that prisons facilitate post-release is... Read More

  • Weak Growth in State Tax Revenue Persists in 2017

    Nearly eight years into the nation’s economic recovery, state tax revenue in total and in 28 states was higher in the first quarter of 2017 than before it plunged during the Great Recession, after adjusting for inflation. But growth in tax collections tapered off over the past year, contributing to budget pressures in a number of states.  Read More

  • States' Tax Portfolios Drive Differences in Revenue Volatility

    Volatility in state tax collections can pose challenges for policymakers, making it difficult to forecast revenue, craft a budget, and manage long-term priorities. Just as individual tax streams account for varying shares of revenue in each state, collections from these taxes fluctuate to differing degrees. For example, a state may experience relatively low overall tax volatility even as certain... Read More

Can Public Policy Be Inventive?

Our Sue Urahn shares the latest facts and examples from across the U.S. in Trend magazine. 

Read essay

Our Approach

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

Learn More