When Gov. Tom Corbett of Pennsylvania was inaugurated in January 2011, Andrew Ritter Jr. ’05 (Camp Hill, Pa.) left the Pennsylvania House of Representatives to join the Governor’s staff as a deputy secretary of Legislative Affairs. His primary duties are to prepare, advance and accomplish the Governor’s legislative priorities.
“Looking back on six years working in the legislative process in Pennsylvania, I can count dozens of items I have worked on that have become law,” he said. “One stands above the rest. In 2006, Pennsylvania enacted - what was at the time - landmark legislation to incentivize college savings for Pennsylvania families by making contributions to PA 529 College Savings Accounts tax deductible and by exempting the earnings on these accounts from taxation. I was a part of this becoming a reality, from the concept phase all the way through it being signed into law.”
John Altman, Ph.D., was one of the many YCP professors that had an impact on his promising career in political science.
“I learned that the practice of legislating is often far from what is taught in textbooks,” said Andrew. “Dr. Altman was the first to make this apparent to me. Furthermore, his ability to boil a social science down to empirical measurements has helped me tremendously in my career. I cannot envision a program that could better prepare a political science student for employment in the legislative process.”
Because policymaking is an ongoing and evolutionary debate on any one of an endless variety of topics, often those with the most thorough understanding of a topic or an issue are those who win the debate.
“YCP taught me to be prepared for such a debate and to research an issue in great detail in order to make my case,” he said.
Andrew advised other students majoring in political science to find what they enjoy and believe in.
“Then get involved,” he continued, “which often starts as volunteering. From there, opportunities will arise.”
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