Reporter | Politics and Government

Jessie Van Berkel writes about Minnesota government and politics at the Star Tribune. She previously covered St. Paul City Hall and local government in the south metro. 

Before joining the Star Tribune, Van Berkel reported on city and county government in Sarasota, Fla., and public safety and courts in Appleton, Wis. She is a Minnesota native who returned to her home state to work for the Star Tribune in 2014. She's a University of Minnesota graduate and a proud Minnesota Daily alumna. Outside of work, she is usually hiking, biking, camping or planning her next travel adventure. Her home is frequently littered with travel books.

As spring floods loom, Gov. Walz proposes $30 million for disaster aid

State officials are calling for fast action ahead of possible spring flooding.

Minnesota lawmakers propose ways to ease child-care crunch

DFL lawmakers offer $500 million plan for grants, loans and child care assistance.

Rep. Ilhan Omar proposes U.S. foreign policy shift

Her plan addresses human rights, migration and youth aid.

Minnesota Legislature opens 2020 election year session

Victories at the Capitol might take a back seat to election-year organizing.

What's front and center when 2020 Legislature kicks off?

In an election year, partisan differences will lead to disparate priorities on issues like spending, guns, and drug prices.

Minnesota House Democrats present top goals of 2020 session

House Democrats want to spend more on pre-K education and child care.

Amy Klobuchar now looks ahead after likely fifth-place Iowa finish

The delayed results showed Klobuchar within striking distance of Joe Biden, a national poll leader who showed worrying signs of weakness.

Iowa caucus day arrives with Klobuchar back in D.C.

Supporters and surrogates are making their last pitches to voters who will head to the Iowa caucuses at 7 p.m., with door knocking and call bank events scheduled throughout the day.

What happens at an Iowa caucus?

The rules have changed — and that could matter.

Legislators, Met Council look to decriminalize light rail fare evasion

Someone caught riding without a ticket now faces a $180 misdemeanor penalty, though few such cases are prosecuted. The bill would reduce that to a $25 petty misdemeanor fine.