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POLS 237 State and Local Politics

Finding a state's governmental structure

The state constitution can tell you how the government is structured.  Like the U.S. constitution it will tell you things like the qualifications for office, the duties and powers of those offices, and term lengths.  A state may have had multiple constitutions over time.  You may be able to find a short history of the state as well as  the state's constitution on the their website.

Finding executive orders

A Google search should work for this.  Type your state name and "executive orders" (e.g. Indiana and executive orders).  For older executive orders you might do a search like Indiana executive orders archive.  Current executive orders tend to be found on the governor's press release page with older ones archived somewhere else.

Finding bills, public laws, and statutes

You will be looking at state legislation that has been passed. Many states have websites for their legislature.  They will include public laws under consideration, an archive of public laws which have been passed, as well as links to the state code or statutes (public laws that have been incorporated into the state statues).  Navigating the state websites to find this information can be tricky!  The following tips and resources will help.

Finding cases

Findind State Finances

The best resource for this type of information would be the state's own website.  Either use the State Governments link above to locate their site or do a Google search.  You might try your state's name plus "budget" and maybe "pie chart."  You will find a number of unofficial sites which you will want to avoid.  Examples include,, or