There are way too many variables in state governments to discuss here. I will focus on just one -- whether the people of the state have the right to vote on initiatives and referendums.
In many states, especially in the West, people or interest groups can propose new laws that can be voted on by the people. If they pass, they become law. Depending on your political point of view, this can be good or bad.
On the good side, it gives some amount of direct democratic control over government to the people. This allows them direct the government more clearly than they can by electing legislators and governors.
On the other hand, having these laws can severely tie the hands of state government. The people can pass things like limits on taxes without deciding how to cut spending, for example. The people can pass laws that sound good, but which are not really practical these, you can argue, make it harder to govern such states.
But with a question of this complexity, there surely must be something in the text that you are using that would give you more information about what it is your professor wants you to say on this. What text are you using?