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Career Story: Senior Policy Analyst For A State Legislature

Senior Policy Analyst For A State Legislature

Job Title: Senior Policy Analyst

Type of Company: I work for the New York state legislature.

Education: BS, Economics, St. Bonaventure University •• MA, Public Sector Economics, SUNY-Albany

Previous Experience: I worked for 3 years researching policy issues for an association representing business in our state.

Job Tasks: As a staff person on a group that provides analysis of policy issues to the state legislature, my work necessarily involves research on policy issues as well as writing reports, memos, and legislative proposals (including bills). My areas of expertise are environmental and energy-related policy.

My work requires me to consult with legislators and upper-level staff on the issues in which I specialize. These legislators have an interest in existing policies and in environmental policy reform. I gather input from interested parties and draft bills, which I track through the legislative process. Any bill would have to go through votes in at least a couple of committees before being brought to a vote on the floor (by all house members). A bill has to be passed by both legislative houses and then signed by the Governor to become law, so the three entities often discuss or negotiate bill details to hammer out any disagreements.

I meet with team leaders to summarize for them my discussions with legislators and the bills and issues that I am tracking for them. Various legislators and staffers are involved in negotiating bills with the other

Best and Worst Parts of the Job: The best part of my job is that I learn a lot about issues that I care about in the energy and environmental fields and I most often get to provide my input as to how to best help our state and its people in regard to these issues. I find the process of policy-making fascinating and often get to watch it first-hand.

The worst part about the job is that you often put in great effort on topics that may never get enough traction, interest, or may just be shut out for seemingly unrelated reasons.

Job Tips: Practice learning about any research issue from as many perspectives as you can and understand arguments on all sides of the issue.

Learn as much as you can about
1. the process of policymaking, especially in the body in which you are pursuing opportunities; 2) the policymakers involved, from the highest leaders down to those leaders in the areas in which you may be interested; 3) the structure of the organization: who oversees whom and who reports to whom and in what office etc.

If possible, talk to outside groups who often meet with policymakers and get their their perspective.

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