What does a Legislator do?

Develop, introduce or enact laws and statutes at the local, tribal, State, or Federal level. Includes only workers in elected positions.

Jobs Roles

  • 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.