What Does a Legislator Do?

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

Typically, Legislators perform these tasks every day:

    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.

Most days, Legislators perform these tasks:

Other tasks that Legislators perform include:

Other Questions about Legislators

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What Tools and Technologies Are Legislators Using to Do Their Job?

Wireless desktop printers

Tablet computers

Laptop computers


Microsoft Exchange Server

Adobe Systems Adobe FrameMaker

Antenna House

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What Subjects Should I Study to Become a Legislator?
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How Much Experience is Needed to Become a Legislator?

A considerable amount of work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is needed for this occupation. For example, a person in this occupation must complete four years of college and work for several years in industry to be considered qualified.

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What Skills Should a Legislator Have?

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