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What Does a Legislative Assistant Do?

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  • Written By: Jay Leone
  • Edited By: M. C. Hughes
  • Last Modified Date: 19 November 2016
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Legislative assistants have many responsibilities. They support legislators such as senators and members of the House of Representatives on the state or federal level. Attending meetings, tending to calls, and making travel arrangements are just a few of the responsibilities expected of most legislative assistants. These professionals lead fast-paced lives and traditionally work long and sometimes odd hours to aid their legislators.

Lawmakers usually require the efforts of several legislative assistants to accomplish the everyday tasks linked with creating and voting on legislation and other public policy. A legislative assistant helps with several administrative duties including taking messages, answering phones, responding to letters and e-mails, drafting speeches, and filing important paperwork. Completing these tasks efficiently and accurately helps ensure that the legislative process proceeds smoothly.

State and federal legislators must attend many different types of meetings and gatherings during their terms in office. Legislative assistants are often required to represent their employers by attending certain meetings on their behalf. Assistants are expected to take notes at such meetings and provide legislators with all pertinent information to give them an accurate and thorough understanding of the issues discussed.

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Constituents elect legislators to office, and the main duty of any legislator is to satisfy the needs of his or her constituents. A constituent who is unsatisfied with the efforts of his or her legislator will likely attempt to elect a different legislator during the next election. Constituents often attempt to contact their legislators regarding issues such as school system development, elderly support services, and community development. A lawmaker's legislative assistant often contacts these constituents and attempts to resolve issues on the legislator's behalf.

The goal any community politician is to pass laws that directly benefit the community. Legislators draft laws based upon issues and research presented to them by their legislative assistants. Lawmakers and their assistants work together very closely to better their communities.

Legislators often hold several offices. These people are always traveling from one place to another. While a state legislator may only have to travel mostly within their state, a federal legislator may often need to travel across the country between Washington D.C. and the district he or she represents. A legislative assistant must be able to make and keep track of their legislator's travel arrangements.

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