State Rep. Dan Lauwers this week introduced legislation to help ensure voter participation and save taxpayer dollars by requiring all millage increase ballot proposals to be placed on November general elections. House Bill 4887 is the first of five bill ideas from a constituent-driven legislative contest sponsored by Lauwers. Mark Shrapnell of St. Clair contacted Lauwers with the idea. ”Mark’s idea is a common-sense reform that will help more people get their voices heard on important issues like millage increase proposals,” said Lauwers, R-Brockway Township. “Voters shouldn’t have to go on a hunting expedition to find the dates of local millage elections. Establishing a uniform time-frame will improve government transparency and voter turnout.” A county, city, village, township, school district, intermediate school district, community college district, public library or local authority must hold millage votes on November general elections, according to the legislation. Millage votes include authorization of a new millage, new additional millage, or the renewal of a previously authorized millage. Lauwers said the legislation also would help save taxpayer dollars by eliminating the practice of holding a separate election for millage increase votes. ”Holding special millage votes in March or April when no one is expecting an election is counterproductive in many ways,” Lauwers said. “The final tally won’t be a true representation of the people as a whole, and local municipalities may spend taxpayer dollars on the election that didn’t need to be spent.” Lauwers received more than 50 bill ideas from residents as part of his legislative contest to give constituents the chance to help direct public policy. The top five ideas will be introduced as legislation. He will introduce the other winning ideas in the coming months.