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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Sandy Layman (R)

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News From Representative Layman 7-29-2019

Monday, July 29, 2019

Dear Friends and Neighbors,

Summer seriously arrived in Minnesota in July, and there is no place I would rather have spent this beautiful month than right here in Northern Minnesota. 

With August at our doorstep, there are a multitude of opportunities for many more family-friendly excursions to state and county fairs as well as a number of community celebrations.  Tall Timber Days, Grand Rapids’ biggest community festival - and only parade -  takes place the very first weekend in August.  Get out and enjoy!

Remember: Hands-free is the Law Starting August 1st!

As you most likely know by now, the hands-free cell phone law goes into effect on August 1st. The new law allows a driver to use their cell phone to make calls, text, listen to music or podcasts and get directions, but only by voice commands or single-touch activation without holding the phone. 

At no time may a driver hold the phone in their hand unless it’s to obtain emergency assistance if there is an immediate threat to life and safety, or when in an authorized emergency vehicle while performing official duties.

This new law impacts everyone that drives a car and owns a cellphone, so I strongly encourage everyone to become familiarized with these new restrictions.

The first ticket is $50 plus court fees and the second and later tickets are $275 plus court fees.

Click here for more information about the hands-free law.

A handful of other laws will be going into effect on August 1st.  A full list is available here

Mining Debate Continues

I guess it shouldn’t be a surprise that a group of metro-Democrat legislators sent a letter to Governor Walz requesting he suspend all permits for PolyMet Mining.  See their letter here:  

Once again, our Iron Range Legislative Delegation needed to respond in defense of our region and its economic opportunities.  See our letter here: 

On a more optimistic note, the Minnesota Departments of Employment and Economic Development, Department of Natural Resources, Pollution Control Agency and Iron Range Resources and Rehabilitation hosted a regional gathering focused on mining and minerals this past week (see photo below).

The commissioners of these agencies, along with local officials and industry representatives socialized over dinner and heard mining updates at the Giant’s Ridge Event Center the evening of July 25th.  I was fortunate to be seated at a table with Minnesota Pollution Control Agency Commissioner Laura Bishop who comes to this position from Best Buy. 


Meetings in the District

Senator Justin Eichorn and I team up as much as possible during the legislative interim to meet with local officials so we can get first-hand information on issues of the day and discuss ways we can help our local communities. Whether it’s bonding projects, job creation opportunities or strategies for addressing mental health, I am interested and look forward to continuing to meet, tour and learn how I can be of service. I am continually impressed at the quality of individuals who work every day to make life better here in the northland.

Following a meeting this month with city officials, Grand Rapids administrator Tom Pagel accompanied me on my first trip across the Mississippi River pedestrian bridge.  In the photo below we chatted with a local resident who enjoys the bicycle access across the river.


Please Contact Me

As always, please contact me if you have any questions or concerns. I value your input and enjoy hearing from you.

Have a great week,


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