I have not worked in another state, but I can say that the ratio laws are definitely a benefit. In my Critical Care unit, they are always followed except for one day where they couldn't get enough nurses. They had to assign I believe 5 nurses to 3 patients. Of the 5 that were assigned, I believe 4 of them had a new grad training with them. The state was called right away and informed. The facility was fined. During the shift the solution was to attempt to move patients upstairs who were ready so as to make the load lighter. I believe by the end of shift all the nurses were switched to the two patient ratio.
It did affect patient care because the nurses stated "There was no way I could give a bath tonight, I was running meds and tying to keep them alive." Basically, beyond medications, turning the patient/oral care, and trying to keep their Hemodynamics stable, the patients received no other care that would normally be given. No bath, charting was definitely limited, etc.
I think the ratio law allows us to focus in and give better care to our patients. I wish that there was a ratio law for nursing homes, but there isn't. When I was an LVN I had 38 patients to myself on a shift, to give medications/assess/chart on. It was insanity, and I know many nursing homes with even more patients.