ST CLAIR COUNTY, Mich. -

St. Clair County residents who have ideas on how to improve life in Michigan have a unique opportunity to submit suggestions as part of a legislative contest sponsored by Rep. Dan Lauwers.

Lauwers is inviting residents in the 81st District to send bill ideas to his office, and he will introduce the Top Five ideas as legislation. 

The contest ends on April 15. 

"I wholeheartedly believe that this is the people's government, and local residents should be given the opportunity to make a real difference for Michigan," said Lauwers, R-Brockway Township.  "This contest is about government for the people, by the people, in its truest form.  Anyone in the 81st District who has a suggestion for a new state law is welcome to send in their ideas."

Lauwers said he's looking for ideas that will encourage a healthier economy, improve our quality of life and make state government more efficient, but all ideas are welcome. 

Proposals that either create or change laws or programs will be considered.

"Part of our challenge on the House Committee on Michigan Competitiveness is to identify that one thing that would propel Michigan's economy and lead to economic growth and new jobs," Lauwers said.  "Local residents should have a chance to help us in our search."

Lauwers will review and research the proposals he receives, and then announce his top five picks. Those 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.

"I want local residents to truly have a voice in the legislative process, and sponsoring this contest is a great way to get people involved in their state government," Lauwers said.  "The best ideas for legislation don't have to come from Lansing; they should come from people who have real-world solutions to make Michigan a better place to live, work and raise a family.  I look forward to hearing from people."

Submissions must be in writing.

They can and be given to Lauwers in person at scheduled office hours or mailed to S-1185 House Office Building, P.O. Box 30014, Lansing, MI 48909-7514; or e-mailed to danlauwers@house.mi.gov.