Rep. Sandy Layman, R-Cohasset, announced Tuesday, June 2, that she will not run for re-election this year after four years in the state Legislature.
She represents District 5B, which includes Pine River, Backus, Chickamaw Beach and McKinley, Bull Moose, Pine River, Barclay, Deerfield, Powers and Ponto Lake townships in Cass County, as well as other parts of Cass and Itasca counties.
First elected in 2016, Layman has been a champion for her district and on issues important to Greater Minnesota, a news release said. Through her tenure she served as vice chair of the Legacy Funding Finance and as a member of Environment and Natural Resources Policy and Finance, Job Growth and Energy Affordability Policy and Finance, Higher Education Finance and Policy, Greater Minnesota Jobs and Economic Development, Government Operations and Capital Investment Division.
Layman released the following statement regarding her retirement.
“During the past four years I have had the great honor to represent the incredible people in District 5B. Public service has allowed me to renew old acquaintances across Itasca and Cass counties, make new friends and, hopefully, make a positive difference for our communities through my work at the Capitol.
"Anyone in public service knows there is a balance that needs to be struck between our public and private lives. I had initially planned to seek a third term but recently I have recognized that now is time for me to have more flexibility to prioritize my private life. Not seeking re-election has been a very difficult decision, primarily because of the tremendous support I have received from constituents who quietly support my work and the many who have let me know from the beginning that they are praying for me. Giving voice to these people at the Capitol is an awesome responsibility and I am so grateful to have had this opportunity.”
Among her legislative highlights, Layman points to her work in championing investments in rural broadband, supporting successful legislation that stopped double digit health care premium increases, advocating for Tobacco 21 laws, directing more investments in roads and bridges without raising taxes, helping reduce state income taxes on Social Security benefits, enacting needed changes in the IRRRB, authoring the Sustainable Forest Incentive Act, and working collaboratively with Itasca County and Blandin Paper Company to arrive at a legislative “fix” for the long-standing property tax dispute.
During her tenure, Layman led initiatives that secured funding for numerous investments in her district, including funding for the Pine River Dam replacement project, completion of the Myles Reif Performing Arts Center, the Tioga Recreation area, Northern Community Radio tower infrastructure, the Mississippi River pedestrian bridge and the Grand Rapids Armory renovation.
"While I am not seeking re-election, residents should remember that I will continue to represent them until a new state representative is seated in 2021,” Layman said. "There is more work to be done for my district and I anticipate returning for a special session yet this summer.”