Career as a Legislator
Legislators are members of the legislative branch of government, which is responsible for making new laws and changing existing laws. They are elected by the public to work for the government or for various other levels of government. They govern by proposing bills, holding votes, and passing laws. Frequent public appearances at community and social events are customary for legislators. Most legislators serve on committees that oversee different areas of government policy. They are expected to develop expertise in those areas, as well as keep up with current local, national, and international events. Most bills are proposed and developed in committees. To make informed decisions, legislators also hear testimonies from private citizens, political leaders, and interest groups. The work of legislators relies on meeting with, listening to, and forming relationships with others. They confer with and debate colleagues about the merits of proposed laws and determine their colleagues’ level of support. In doing so, they must negotiate a compromise among different interest groups and review and respond to the concerns of the people they represent or the general public. Legislators work in each level of government. They represent the interests of the people in their districts, such as encouraging investment and economic development in their jurisdiction, while also considering the needs of the entire nation. About nine out of ten legislators work in local government. The duties of legislator includes to develop bills, drafts of laws that they want their fellow legislators to approve, draft or approve policies, regulations, budgets, and programs. They also debate and analyze the impact of proposed laws and vote on bills and on motions to enact them into law. They also need to collaborate and negotiate with other legislators to resolve differences and reach agreements and seek funding for projects and programs in their district, appoint nominees to leadership posts or approve appointments by the chief executive. They also serve on committees, panels, and study groups for special policy issues, Listen to and address the concerns of people they represent and to invite and listen to testimony from people who are concerned about an issue or likely to be affected by a law if it is passed.