Federal Versus State

State government is structured similarly to the federal government, except on a much smaller scale. Every state has a constitution and three branches of government — executive, legislative, and judicial. The states also have a power-sharing relationship with their local and municipal governments that's much the same as the federal system.

The states are often referred to as the “laboratories of democracy” because no two state governments are exactly alike. Often policies, laws, and procedures that are successful in one state are copied in another, and then in the federal government. This tendency to adopt the “best practices” of states has kept state government vibrant and innovative.

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