State Rep. Dan Lauwers today announced the five winners of his legislation contest, with proposals that could improve voter turnout at local elections, increase sentencing for repeat sexual offenders and reduce the size of state government.
Lauwers received more than 50 unique bill ideas from residents as part of his legislation contest to give constituents the chance to help direct public policy. The top five ideas will be introduced as legislation.
“I’m extremely pleased the contest generated so many thoughtful ideas and suggestions from residents, and it was actually difficult to pick just five legislative proposals,” said Lauwers, R-Brockway Township. “Our system of democracy relies on the public’s involvement, and the contest gave people the chance to take that participation to a whole new level.”
The residents selected for their proposals to be drafted into House bills are:
- Kathleen Sholtis of Yale: Her legislation would reform Public Act 222 of 2001, which makes governmental entities immune from tort liability for sewage disposal systems.
- Larry Sokolowski of Marysville: His legislation would eliminate certain lending functions of the MEDC.
- Mark Shrapnell of St. Clair: His legislation would require Property Tax Millage votes to only take place during November elections.
- Julie Dickason of China Township: Her legislation would add certain medical procedures to the list of student excused absences not to be counted toward truancy, according to the Michigan Compulsory Attendance Law.
- Pastor Tony Jessie of Capac: His legislation would require a juvenile sexual assault charge to be considered a first offense, which could allow the courts to provide tougher sentencing guidelines to repeat offenders.
“I’m looking forward to advocating on behalf of these legislative ideas once I’ve formally introduced them,” Lauwers said. “I’d like to thank everyone who sent in their proposals, and remind people that I am always open to hearing from constituents about any ideas they may have.”
The people selected to have their ideas put into the legislative process may be called on to give background testimony on their bill before a House committee in Lansing.