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Minnesota Rep. Jennifer Schultz won't seek reelection

The Duluth lawmaker will step down after her fourth term.

Jennifer Schultz.JPG
Jennifer Schultz
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DULUTH — District 7A Rep. Jennifer Schultz, DFL-Duluth, announced Thursday that she will not seek a fifth term in the Minnesota Legislature.

“I want to thank all the people of District 7A for their support over the years,” said in a written statement. "It has been exciting and rewarding to serve my constituents in the Legislature and to work with distinguished elected leaders like Speaker (Melissa) Hortman and my fellow chair Rep. (Tina) Liebling, as well as commissioners, administrative staff, House staff, and others who tirelessly serve the people of Minnesota.”

Schultz, who holds a doctorate degree in economics, is a professor at the Labovitz School of Business and Economics at the University of Minnesota Duluth.

In the Legislature, she serves as chair of House Human Services Finance & Policy Committee and on the Ways and Means, Taxes, Health Finance and Policy, and Redistricting committees. She also serves on the Great Lakes Commission, where she has championed protection of the Great Lakes and advocated for federal funding of the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative.

“I am proud of my work during my tenure in office,” Schultz said. Especially my role in creating the historic 2021 Health and Human Services omnibus bill that made investments to relieve homelessness, food insecurity, and health inequities, as well as other problems detrimental to health. I was a leader in passing a bill to expand access to our successful Minnesota Care insurance plan, allowing families with unaffordable employee insurance plans access to the program, making Minnesota the only state to fix the 'family glitch' problem. I organized bipartisan support for legislation licensing assisted living facilities, regulating the conversion of nonprofit health plans, reforming the disability waiver rate system, and increasing wages for personal care assistants.”

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District 7B Rep. Liz Olson, DFL- Duluth, referred to her colleague as "a powerhouse at the state capitol."

In a written statement, Olson said: "I can’t think of anyone who works harder or smarter, especially throughout all of the challenges due to the pandemic. While her voice is quiet, she’s been a vocal champion for workers, families, and people who deserve less expensive, better health care. Chairing the Human Services Committee, she created a space for bold ideas to help improve the lives of older Minnesotans, people with disabilities, children, and those experiencing poverty.

"She’s been a tireless advocate for UMD and our other colleges and universities, helping Duluth and the Twin Ports remain a crown jewel for higher learning. Through good budget times and bad, her wisdom as an economist has proven invaluable."

Reflecting on her legislative service, Schultz said: “It has been a wonderful eight years, and I have tremendous gratitude for the support, encouragement, and trust my constituents have given me.”

Although she will be leaving office, Schultz pledged to remain involved in other ways.

“I hope to use my leadership experience to continue to work on the crises in health care, our economy, and higher education. I have devoted my life to dealing with the problems of our health care system and of economic inequality. I plan to continue that important work,” she said.

SEE ALSO
From the column: "Despite our challenges, we have plenty of reasons to be optimistic about what’s ahead."

This story was updated at 2:15 p.m. March 3 with a comment from Rep. Liz Olson.  It was originally posted at 1:36 p.m. the same day.

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