Laurie Driessen has spent the last 35 years as an advocate for providing quality services to individuals with disabilities and the elderly.
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Laurie Driessen announced this past week that she will be seeking the Minnesota House of Representatives seat in District 16A. Driessen lives in Canby with her husband David, where she has spent the past 35 years as a strong advocate for providing quality services to individuals with disabilities and the elderly. She is employed by REM Southwest/Central Services as the Quality Assurance Specialist for a seven county area including Lac qui Parle, Yellow Medicine, Lyon and Redwood. Driessen is a past member of the Southwest Minnesota Workforce Center and past President of the Canby Chamber of Commerce.
After years of dairy farming, Driessen’s husband Dave, recently retired from the dairy operation, but continues grain farming in the Canby area. Driessen said, “Agriculture is extremely important to the economy in this area. Agriculture provides 1 in 5 jobs in Minnesota. Our family farmers and ranchers need to have someone in Saint Paul to protect their interest.”
Driessen has served on the Canby School Board since 2010 and will bring to the Capitol a focus on fair and equitable funding for our rural schools. “Districts in our area are struggling to find teachers in many subject areas such as Science, Music, Art, Agriculture, and Special Education. We are falling behind in our ability to maintain our buildings and grounds. Although progress was made this past year, the funding formula for schools must address the issues we face in rural Minnesota,” added Driessen.
As graduates of SMSU, Driessen and her husband Dave understand how important SMSU and Minnesota West are to the area. If elected, Driessen will prioritize post-secondary education options like those in Marshall, Granite Falls and Canby. Supporting these educational institutions, ensuring they continue to thrive, and remain affordable is vital to the future of our rural communities.
The Driessen’s have four children and six grandchildren. Justin farms and raises cattle with his wife Carie near Canby. Jen and her husband Jeff live and work in Canby. Josh works in Brookings and Jeremy lives in Canby in a group home for individuals with disabilities. Having worked with individuals who have disabilities for many years and caring for a child with disabilities, Driessen will continue to advocate for people with disabilities and the caregivers who support them.
Driessen states, “As your representative I will work to find common ground, to solve problems and come up with solutions. I will work with legislators of both parties, urban and rural to ensure the needs of our district are addressed.”