How does the state legislature of Massachusetts (known as the General Court) differ from the Congress of the United States?



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The General Court of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts consists of forty Senate districts and 160 districts represented in the House of Representatives.  The members of both houses serve two year terms.  In general, state legislatures including the General Court differ from the United States Congress in the sense that most legislation proposed and debated in this country occurs at the state and local (sometimes called "subnational" level).  According to the Constitution of the United States, powers not specifically given to the federal government are reserved for the states, and include the levying and collection of state and personal property taxes, regulating education, establishing law and order and enforcing it with a system of courts, facilitating elections and voting--to name a few.


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