Becky Lourey of Kerrick brought a strong sense of caring and commitment to progressive public service as the State Senator representing District 8 in east-central Minnesota. A former farmer, she owns a small business, Nemadji Research Corporation, which she co-founded with her late husband Gene. Becky and Gene are parents to 12 children (three deceased). Her story is unusual and compelling. As a teen, Becky won a variety of rifle marksman awards and was honored for taking down a large buck from more than 600 yards – shooting from one Montana mountain ridge to the next. As a young women, Becky and her husband Gene were involved in urban revitalization efforts. The Loureys adopted eight of their children, yet Becky is a leading advocate for a woman’s freedom to choose. Her son, Matt, lost his life while flying his helicopter on a mission during his second tour of duty in Iraq. Although Becky has opposed the Iraq war from the start, she recognizes that Matt had a duty to use his best talents just as she utilizes her greatest strengths in public service to the state of Minnesota.
Lourey received the Joan and Walter Mondale Award for Public Service in 2005 at the annual DFL Hubert H. Humphrey Day dinner in Minneapolis. In making the award presentation, then-Minnesota DFL Party Chairman Mike Erlandson said, “Sen. Lourey’s progressive passion and optimism is infectious. It is hard to be as progressive as Becky and be so popular personally on both sides of the aisle.”
Among her many other honors and awards for health care policy, the rights of women and children and political courage, she was recently included among the “most admired” persons in public service as selected by the Minnesota Women’s Press. The year after she left office, Lourey was named “Best Politician” by City Pages (Minneapolis/St.Paul), Best of 2007.
Her major legislative accomplishments include: co-author of the MinnesotaCare package in 1992, as well as the Small Business Health Care Insurance Reform provisions and chief author of the Rural Health Initiatives which included creation of the current Office of Rural Health and Primary Care; initiated and chaired the Katie Poirer Task Force which made recommendations resulting in several law changes to improve community safety; authored legislation to provide Minnesota Grown food stamp replacement services to denied immigrants; authored the Medication Management Act; authored the Senior Prescription Drug Program; led the fight to successfully pass BGH hormone-free milk labeling requirements; and in 2005 carried the bonding provision to establish the Rush Line Transportation Corridor along Highway I-35.
Lourey served in the Minnesota Senate from 1996 to 2006, following three terms in the House of Representatives. Prior to serving in the Senate and House, Lourey was named in 1989 to the inaugural Minnesota Health Care Access Commission and had served as Administrative Assistant for the Northern Lakes Health Care Consortium in Duluth.
A graduate of Little Falls High School, Becky Lourey attended Asbury College in Kentucky and the University of Minnesota.