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A Source for State Policy Trends

The Pew Charitable Trust’s Stateline is a daily news service focusing on trends in state policy. The service, incorporated into part of the PEW Charitable Trust’s website, presents stories by their staff writers and sorts and displays links to other internet news sources. The June 25th front page headlines included staff stories like “Medicaid for Inmates” and “$64 Billion in State Incentives to Lure Business,” and an “editors picks from around the web” feature selecting and linking headlines such as the LA Times’ “Child-rearing grandparents slipping through the safety next.”

Stateline often runs series on policy issues and annually compiles a review of state legislation (lower right hand corner of the front page). The 2013 legislative review covers five topics: politics, health care, taxes and budget, social issues, and economic development. Under social issues, there is a timeline of gun actions since the Sandy Hook Shooting. Currently there are two featured series: “States in Recovery” and “State of the States.” The recovery series discusses state revenues, manufacturing, and housing in the wake of the recession. Like most stories on Stateline, the housing story includes facts supported by empirical data. As in all PEW-associated stories, many sources are used and links to those sources are given. For example, the story on housing discussed attendance at California’s Sea World, noting that it had increased 13 percent. This information was from the Themed Entertainment Association and the Economics practice at AECOM’s 2011 Theme Index, Global Attractions Attendance Report.*

The site’s archive of stories may be searched by state or by issue. The site includes a list of issues, such as economy, health, justice, and safety net. Once you have chosen a state or issue you can further limit your search by state, issue, date, or specific type of story (either Stateline stories, news roundup, or opinion roundup).

Stateline is a good place to start when looking for possible note topics. If you have no topic idea, try starting with “States of Change in 2013”: 50 Ways States Changed America. This feature covers state policies, such as New York’s “Green Bank,” Alabama’s tax credit for private school tuition, and cap and trade in California.


*The 2012 report was just recently released.