State government handles public school funding, including K-12, state universities, and community colleges; access to health care; maintenance of highways and bridges; support for vulnerable individuals and families (food assistance, senior services, foster care); public safety (state police, prisons, mental health facilities); land use policies; state tax policy.
Importance of State Government
Understanding State Government
All state governments are modeled after the federal government and consist of three branches: executive, legislative, and judicial. For example, the Oregon Legislature meets annually in Salem, the state capital, to debate and pass new laws and balance the state budget. If a bill passes both the Oregon House of Representatives and the Oregon Senate, it must then be signed by the Governor to become law. Take the time to find out who represents you in your state’s legislature.