What do Legislators do?
Develop, introduce or enact laws and statutes at the local, tribal, State, or Federal level. Includes only workers in elected positions.
- Analyze and understand the local and national implications of proposed legislation.
- Appoint nominees to leadership posts, or approve such appointments.
- Confer with colleagues to formulate positions and strategies pertaining to pending issues.
- Debate the merits of proposals and bill amendments during floor sessions, following the appropriate rules of procedure.
- Develop expertise in subject matters related to committee assignments.
- Hear testimony from constituents, representatives of interest groups, board and commission members, and others with an interest in bills or issues under consideration.
- Keep abreast of the issues affecting constituents by making personal visits and phone calls, reading local newspapers, and viewing or listening to local broadcasts.
- Maintain knowledge of relevant national and international current events.
- Make decisions that balance the perspectives of private citizens, public officials, and party leaders.
- Negotiate with colleagues or members of other political parties in order to reconcile differing interests, and to create policies and agreements.
- Prepare drafts of amendments, government policies, laws, rules, regulations, budgets, programs and procedures.
- Read and review concerns of constituents or the general public and determine if governmental action is necessary.
- Represent their parties in negotiations with political executives or members of other parties, and when speaking with the media.
- Review bills in committee, and make recommendations about their future.
- Seek federal funding for local projects and programs.
- Serve on commissions, investigative panels, study groups, and committees in order to examine specialized areas and recommend action.
- Vote on motions, amendments, and decisions on whether or not to report a bill out from committee to the assembly floor.
- Write, prepare, and deliver statements for the Congressional Record.
- Alert constituents of government actions and programs by way of newsletters, personal appearances at town meetings, phone calls, and individual meetings.
- Attend receptions, dinners, and conferences to meet people, exchange views and information, and develop working relationships.
- Conduct "head counts" to help predict the outcome of upcoming votes.
- Determine campaign strategies for media advertising, positions on issues, and public appearances.
- Encourage and support party candidates for political office.
- Establish personal offices in local districts or states, and manage office staff.
- Evaluate the structure, efficiency, activities, and performance of government agencies.
- Organize and maintain campaign organizations and fundraisers, in order to raise money for election or re-election.
- Oversee expense allowances, ensuring that accounts are balanced at the end of each fiscal year.
- Promote the industries and products of their electoral districts.
- Represent their government at local, national, and international meetings and conferences.
- Speak to students to encourage and support the development of future political leaders.
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