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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States’ fiscal conditions have improved since the Great Recession ended six years ago, but their recoveries are incomplete. More than 20 states still collect less tax revenue than at their recession-era peaks, after adjusting for inflation, and most have yet to rebuild their financial cushions to pre-recession levels. In addition, 23 states’ employment rates trail 2007 levels. Despite... Read More
In a sign that the U.S. economic recovery is widespread, personal income in all states is back above levels seen at the Great Recession’s onset. But growth has varied among states, ranging from a constant annual rate of less than 1 percent in Nevada to more than 5 percent in North Dakota. Read More
In 2011 California passed the Public Safety Realignment Act, which transferred responsibility for more than 60,000 offenders to the state's 58 counties. In response, county officials within the criminal justice system began to re-evaluate where they were putting their resources, with a renewed focus on ensuring that limited county resources were directed to the most effective and cost-efficient... Read More