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The Office of Program Research (OPR) accepts job applications on a year around basis. The paragraph General Information and others that follow contain general information about the Office, job classifications, and how to apply.
About the Office of Program Research: The Office of Program Research (OPR) was established in 1973 to provide year around staff support to the committees of the Washington State House of Representatives. The mission of OPR is to provide information necessary to assist House members and committees in making informed judgments about policy issues facing the State. OPR staff hold nonpartisan, full-time positions with the Legislature. Staff are assigned to specific committees and perform a variety of tasks including: policy and fiscal analysis, legal counsel, bill and amendment drafting, and clerical support.
Generally, duties include legal and policy research and analysis, developing and evaluating options to assist House members in meeting their goals, bill drafting, and presenting oral and written staff reports. The research, analysis, and general staff support provided by OPR staff contributes significantly to the legislative process.
DESIRABLE QUALIFICATIONS: The ideal candidate for a position in OPR has the ability to perform high quality, objective research and analysis in a position requiring high levels of self direction. The person must have excellent analytical, writing, oral presentation, and organizational skills and must be pro-active, creative, flexible, and service-oriented. The ideal candidate has a demonstrated ability to deal effectively with the complex, difficult situations that are common in the fast-paced, high pressure legislative environment. Candidates must be willing to work the long, irregular hours that are common during a legislative session. Except for Legislative Assistant positions, a master's degree in public administration, business, or allied field is desirable. Candidates for Legal Counsel positions must have a Juris Doctorate and must be a member of a state bar association.
POSITION CLASSIFICATIONS: There are four job classifications in OPR as follows:
Legal Counsel: The primary duty of the Legal Counsel is to provide individual members and committees with legal research and analysis. Duties also include policy research and analysis, developing and evaluating options to assist House members in meeting their policy goals, bill and amendment drafting, presentation of oral and written staff reports, and committee administration.
Research Analyst: The primary duty of the Research Analyst is to provide individual members and committees with policy research and analysis. Duties also include developing and evaluating options to assist House members in meeting their policy goals, bill and amendment drafting, presentation of oral and written staff reports, and committee administration.
Fiscal Analyst: The primary duty of the fiscal analyst is to provide individual members and committees with fiscal research and analysis and to assist members in the development of legislative budget proposals. Duties also include review and analysis of agency budget requests and Governor's budget proposals, policy analysis, research, bill drafting, and presentation of oral and written staff reports.
Committee Legislative Assistant: The persons selected to fill these positions will provide clerical and administrative support to the House research staff and the committees of the House of Representatives. Principal duties include: coordinate and record committee meetings; prepare official committee records; track the progress of bills; word processing; provide information to legislators, staff, lobbyists, media, and the general public; and respond to and screen phone calls.
DESIRED QUALIFICATIONS: The ideal candidate must be skilled in clerical and administrative procedures; have the ability to use good judgment and maintain confidentiality; be proficient with current version of Microsoft Word, Microsoft Outlook, and Internet Explorer; and have a basic understanding of state government and the functions and organization of the Legislature.
TEMPORARY SESSION POSITIONS: While most research positions in OPR are full-time, year around positions , there are occasionally temporary research positions lasting for the duration of a specific project or a legislative session. Also, there are temporary committee legislative assistant positions filled for every legislative session. Sessions begin each year on the 2nd Monday of January. Persons interested in session employment should submit applications by Early November each year.
EMPLOYEE BENEFITS: Employee benefits include: vacation and sick leave; paid state holidays; health, life and other optional insurance; retirement; social security; and military leave.
SALARY: Salaries for professional legislative staff are competitive. The specific salary will depend on the candidate's education and experience.
HOW TO APPLY: If you are interested in applying for a position in OPR, please send a letter of interest, resume, and, for research positions, examples of your writing to:
Office of Program Research
245 John L. O'Brien Building
P.O. Box 40600
Olympia, Washington 98504-0600