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Understanding State and Local Government of the United States



The United States does have its overall Federal government however there are additional governments for the state and your local area. Now each of these are in charge of something different and will be part of your everyday life.

First the State Government, each state has its own constitution and government that help run the state as a whole. The overall leader of the state executive branch is called the Governor. For a person to be governor they must run for the position and the residents of that state have to elect him or her into their office. The residents will also vote in their representatives for their state to the state legislator.

The state government oversees affairs within the states borders. The state government is in charge of raising or lowering income taxes, oversees states welfare programs and much more. They also control the state criminal code, maintains state roads, and carries out any federal laws and programs at the state level. The state and local governments work together to operate schools and ensure that the schools are meeting state standards.

Local government is at the counties/cities level. Cities and counties are granted a specific power by the state. Citizens within each city or county elect their representatives to govern them. The Cities have mayors and councils that oversee the delivery of public services. This includes managing parks, libraries, schools, police, and fire services. Local governments are also in charge of solving common problems such as funding the police and fire departments and education, as just a few examples.

Overall, the United States government is broken down into four major areas as covered in a previous blog post. Here we focused on the state and local level and how each of them impact everyone’s day to day life. It is important to understand the state and local governments and see how your vote can impact your everyday life and the government as a whole.

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