Every state has a constitution that establishes the legal and political framework for government within that state. Some state constitutions are well written, while others are not. None captures the flexibility, durability, and sheer brilliance of the Constitution of the United States. Most are wordy, bulky, disjointed documents that have been amended, revised, and rewritten many times. Alabama has the lengthiest constitution at a mind-numbing 172,000 words — about twenty-five times longer than the U.S. Constitution! Vermont has the shortest at fewer than 7,000 words.
It's important to remember that state constitutions are “subordinate” to the supreme law of the land, meaning that provisions of state constitutions that come into conflict with federal law are considered unconstitutional. However, state constitutions are the supreme law of the state for matters that fall outside of federal law or that aren't expressly prohibited by the Constitution of the United States.
Like the U.S. Constitution, state constitutions enumerate the powers of the three branches of government, create state agencies, establish a bill of rights, and provide for a method to amend the constitution. Beyond that, state constitutions tend to be very detailed (some would say maddeningly so) about certain matters. For instance, the California constitution mandates the size of fruit boxes, while the Louisiana constitution dedicates nearly 5,000 words (almost the entire length of the U.S Constitution) to the creation of the board of commissioners of the port of New Orleans. That same Louisiana constitution also proclaims former governor Huey P. Long's birthday a “legal holiday forever.”
In many states, extremely narrow provisions, like Alabama's cap on local tax rates, have forced lawmakers to repeatedly amend the constitution as government has grown in size and complexity. Some constitutions have provisions idiosyncratic to their state, such as Oklahoma's requirement that all public schools teach horticulture, stock-feeding, and agriculture. It's unlikely that a similar provision exists in the New York constitution.