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Thursday, 07 November 2013 10:31

Michigan House panel takes testimony on local resident's idea for new Michigan law

(AREA) -- A Michigan House committee this week heard testimony on legislation proposed by a constituent of Representative Dan Lauwers to increase voter turnout and save taxpayer dollars by limiting millage increase elections to November or August. Mark Shrapnell of St. Clair came up with the idea for the legislation as part of a contest sponsored by Representative Lauwers to give constituents the chance to help direct public policy. Lauwers received more than 50 bill ideas from residents. Shrapnell traveled to Lansing to testify before the committee. Mark's idea is a common-sense measure to help ensure a better representation of the people at the ballot box while saving hard-earned taxpayer dollars, according to Representative Lauwers. House Bill 4887 specifies that after December 31, 2014, a local taxing unit would be required to hold a new or increased millage proposal during the November general election or August primary election. Under current law, a taxing unit can hold up to two millage elections during the year. Millage renewal elections would still be allowed at other times under the legislation.

PICTURED: Mark Shrapnell, at right, testifies before the House Elections and Ethics Committee on his idea to reform the millage election process. Rep. Dan Lauwers, at left, formally introduced the legislation.