What are the similarities between the state government and federal government?

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As other answers have indicated, most state governments have been established on the same model as the federal government, with power balanced between the executive, legislative, and judiciary branches. As in the federal system, elections determine who occupies the legislature and who is governor, the chief executive at the state level. Elected representatives pass laws and levy taxes, as in the federal system, and they are expected to be responsive to the needs of the electorate. Overall, the United States is a bottom-up system, in which the people elect those who will represent them in government rather than having such leaders imposed on them from above, as in aristocratic and monarchial systems.

Up until the New Deal of the 1930s, state governments were expected to deal by themselves with the social welfare issues of their populations, such as economic relief in times of crisis or in handling care for the poor. The states still participate in this, but since the 1930s, when it was realized that large federal programs were more efficient, the federal government has played a more significant role in ensuring the social welfare of its citizens. In fact, many of the poorest states benefit from the redistribution of wealth that federal welfare ensures, allowing the poorest of the poor better access to food and health care. Since the New Deal, therefore, the state and federal government sectors have come to look more alike.

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Most state governments in the United States are like the federal government in miniature. They provide services, raise taxes, and exercise political authority, just like the federal government. Like the US Congress, state legislatures are democratically elected. All but one state—Nebraska—has what's called a bicameral legislature. This means that the legislature consists of two chambers, such as the Senate and the House of Representatives at the federal level.

The role of state governors is also analogous to that of the President of the United States. The governor is the senior political figure in each state and, theoretically speaking, sets the overall legislative agenda. As with the president in relation to Congress, governors must work with the relevant state legislatures if they're to get their programs passed. However, unlike US presidents, governors in a minority of states are not subjected to term limits.

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The state governments have a similar structure to the federal government. The Governor is the head of the executive branch and functions much like the President does on the federal level.

The legislative branch on the federal level is Congress and on the state level it is the state legislature. Both are bicameral, divided into two houses, the Senate and the House of Representatives on the federal level and similar upper and lower houses on the state level, although the names may vary on the state level. Both have a structure of committees focused on specific areas of policy. For both federal and state legislatures, bills may be introduced in both houses, considered by committees, discussed, amended, voted upon, and then there may be a process to reconcile upper and lower chamber versions. Bills are then signed or vetoed by the executive (President or Governor) but a veto can be overridden by a two-thirds vote of the legislature. 

Just as the federal judicial branch has an Attorney General and the Supreme Court as well as lesser courts, so states also have attorney generals and supreme courts as well as lesser courts. Both federal and state governments have constitutions by which they must abide and a process for amending those constitutions. 

Finally, both levels of government have an extensive civil service bureaucracy. 

 

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There are similarities between the state government and the federal government. One of the similarities is in the structure of government at each level. Both the state government and the federal government have three branches. The legislative branch makes the laws. The executive branch carries out the laws. The judicial branch interprets the laws. There is a separation of powers that I mentioned above as well as a system of checks and balances at each level. For example, the executive branch can veto laws. The veto can be overridden by the legislative branch.

Another similarity is that both governments share certain powers. For example, both the state governments and the federal government can levy taxes, borrow money, build roads, and establish courts. For example, we pay state and federal taxes. Also, the interstate highway system is our federal highway system while the state governments establish state highways.

Both the state government and the federal government take actions that affect our lives. For example, at the state level, the state determines how many school days there will be, and how schools will be funded. The state determines what the state sales tax will be. At the federal level, the government has created programs like Medicare, Medicaid, and Head Start to help people. The federal government has drafted soldiers who have fought in wars. There is a federal health insurance law that provides access to healthcare for the American people.

Both the state governments and the federal government play a significant role in our lives. Today, how big a role government should play is a heavily discussed topic at both the state and federal levels.

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