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.


Minnesota Democratic groups outraising their Republican counterparts

Nine of the 10 organizations that raised the most in 2020 are affiliated with Democrats.


Minn. police licensing board at center of push to build trust in law enforcement

New responsibilities are part of what interim POST Board Executive Director Erik Misselt calls a "watershed moment."


Minnesota House Democrats seek $168M to help businesses hurt in rioting

So far the GOP-led Senate hasn't matched that effort in a special session that's expected to wrap up in a few days.


Court hears legal challenge to Minn. Gov. Walz's emergency powers

Eight lawsuits have been filed against the governor in state and federal courts.


Rebuild of 3rd Precinct HQ to cost $10 million, estimate says

Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz says he plans to appeal the federal agency's denial of his request for disaster aid.


$100 million available to Minnesotans struggling with housing costs

People will be able to apply for federal funds through local housing agencies.


Lawmakers clash over extension of Walz's emergency powers

The Republican-led Senate approved a resolution to rescind the governor's emergency powers. But the DFL-controlled House is unlikely to follow suit, leaving Walz's pandemic decrees intact at least through the middle of August.


Minnesota has used most of its $200M COVID-19 fund but still has federal funds

State officials haven't ruled out the eventual need for more state spending.


Struggling Minnesota farmers weigh their support for Trump

Many growers around Minnesota facing an uncertain farm economy are having their faith in President Trump tested this time around.


Legislature getting a do-over on police reform, public works

Gov. Tim Walz, who's planning to call a special session Monday, said he is optimistic that lawmakers can strike a deal. But the politics remain tricky.