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State Government
Guide: State Bureaucracy

Use these resources to explore the inner workings of state government. Articles and documents outline some of the most important functions of state government, from organizing elections to levying taxes. Use the Export to My Lists button above to turn this into a research list for your students.

Theme Key Understandings

  • Local governments play a critical role in citizens' everyday lives, providing services such as police and fire protection, utilities, and education
  • The size and organization of a local government impacts the way it functions
  • State government structures resemble that of the federal government with responsibilities and powers split between three branches: legislative, executive, and judicial
  • State governments both share some responsibilities with the federal government and have some separate areas of responsibility
  • The resources of a community impact its government's policies and effectiveness
  • States often serve as laboratories for government policy at the national level
  • States' election policies directly impact political outcomes at all levels of government

Key Questions

  • How can the selection process for high-ranking bureaucrats interfere with a governor's ability to influence public policy in some states?
  • Discuss three ways states raise money through taxation.
  • Why would states use different models to raise revenue for their states? How can these differences in revenue lead to differences in policy?


  1. Overview: State Bureaucracy
  2. Outline: Outline
  3. Transcript: Transcript
  4. Lesson: Introduction
  5. Lesson: 1-Responsibilities of State Bureaucracy
  6. Lesson: 2-State Spending
  7. Lesson: 3-State Revenue
  8. Lesson: 4-Growth and Reform
  9. Lesson: Closing
  10. Glossary Terms: property tax
  11. Glossary Terms: sales tax
  12. Photos & Illustrations: California state budget revenue presentation
  13. Photos & Illustrations: Sin tax: liquor store
  14. Facts & Figures: Sources of State Government Revenue, 2014
  15. Reference Articles: State Officials
  16. Reference Articles: State Treasurer
  17. Political, Government & Court Documents: Proposition 13 (California, 1978)

MLA Citation

"State Bureaucracy." History Hub, ABC-CLIO, 2019, historyhub.abc-clio.com/Search/Display/2156171. Accessed 17 Feb. 2019.

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Entry ID: 2156171

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