Last week I met with a constituent who requested I research a particular topic (aging/healthcare) and work towards filing legislation for next year that she believes can help thousands in our state. To many readers this may sound like something new; but it’s actually not.

While many officials have our own vision and ideas for improving our state, more times than not, ideas come from people like you. People who want to help and have expertise or knowledge in a particular field that their elected officials might not. Many times those people aren’t sure how to get the information where it needs to go. This is where our state misses out. Ideas that die without ever getting where they need to be vetted to hopefully make a positive impact!

While we have 124 House members and 46 Senators that compose the legislative branch, we have thousands more who can help get our economy and state back on track…if only we officials will listen and if only the people will share their thoughts directly with us officials.

That being said, can you help?

Yes, only 170 members can propose legislation in Columbia; but we need to hear from you about what we should be working on and how you think we can fix “it”. Note: before you think that all you need to do is email or call your official and he/she will file anything you ask, please know it also doesn’t work that way. Your official should at least speak/meet with you to hear more of your proposal but he/she may not support the proposal or may have staff research and find it’s something that has been tried before and failed or can’t be tried for one reason of the other. While elected officials do not “know it all” we do have access to many people (attorneys, etc) who can review laws in our state and others and see if your proposal is feasible, constitutional, and lastly something he/she can help file in Columbia and get his/her colleagues to support.

If you don’t know how to contact your official, simply go to the State House website and click under House or Senate. Now, if you happen to not even know WHO your official is, take a few more steps by clicking on “Find Your Legislator” and then “Find your 9-digit zip code” . From there, go back and put your 9 digit zipcode in the screen and all your state and federal officials will appear.

So, if you’ve always wanted to serve but didn’t want to wage a campaign or spend time away from your paying job and family, now’s your chance to have your say without having to get elected! Contact me or your elected official and share your ideas and thoughts. Who knows? Maybe you have “THE” idea out there that ultimately ends up improving the quality of life for millions in our state!