How Are State and National Governments Different?

The differences between state and federal governments are attributed to their sizes, offices and requirements under the Constitution. Other differences include the powers that the Constitution grants between the federal and state government. How often the voting public changes or keeps representatives in office also differs on the federal and state level. Under the Constitution, the federal government must have a three-branch structure, however state governments do not.

In state government, the governor heads the executive branch of the government as opposed to the president on the federal level. The legislative branch of government on the state level resembles the federal government in the way it introduces bills and passes laws. The judicial branch of government on the state level also has a supreme court and a system of appeals much like the federal government. The major difference between the government doing its job on the state level or the federal level is that federal law trumps state law.

State and local government also conduct business at a faster pace as new members of Congress are up for election every two years. The office of president, which usually means a new administration, changes only every four years. Other differences between state and federal governments include the taxes they collect and the punishments they apply for failure to pay on either level.