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Each state has its own constitution which it uses as the basis for laws. Constitution mandates that all states uphold a "republican form" of government, although the three­-branch structure is not required. They contain a preamble, a bill of rights, articles that describe separation of powers between the executive, legislative and judicial branches, and a framework for setting up local governments. State constitutions can contain as many as 174,000 words (Alabama), and have as many as 513 amendments attached (also Alabama).

All state governments are modeled after the federal government and consist of three branches: executive, legislative, and judicial. Therefore, in basic structure state constitutions much resemble the U. State constitutions also tend to be significantly more lengthy than the U. Much of this length is devoted to issues or areas of interest that are outdated.

The national government can give the states either (most commonly issued).

Mandates can also pass from the state to local levels.

States rely on a broad range of revenue sources to fund government.

On average, states generate more than one­-third of their revenues from personal income taxes and another one­-third from general sales taxes.

The process is usually initiated when the legislature proposes the amendment by a majority or vote, after which the people approve the amendment through a majority vote.

Oklahoma's constitution, for example, contains provisions that describe the correct temperature to test kerosene and oil.

California has sections that describe everything that may be deemed tax-exempt, including specific organizations and fruit and nut trees under four years of age.

Article I, Section 10 of the Constitution of the United States puts limits on the powers of the states.

States cannot form alliances with foreign governments, declare war, coin money, or impose duties on imports or exports.

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