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Briana Bierschbach

Reporter | Politics and Government
Location: St. Paul

Briana Bierschbach is a politics and government reporter for the Star Tribune.


Bierschbach has spent the last decade covering Minnesota politics for various publications, including MPR News and MinnPost. She started her journalism career in college at the University of Minnesota's campus newspaper, the Minnesota Daily, where she covered city hall. Bierschbach also has worked at the Pioneer Press, the Associated Press and the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal. In her spare time, she teaches a class on state government at the Humphrey School of Public Affairs and spends time with her husband, dog and two cats.
Recent content from Briana Bierschbach
Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz provided an update on the state’s next steps to respond to COVID-19 on Wednesday. He was joined by Health Commissioner Jan M

More workers are considered essential in Walz's extended stay-at-home order

Here's what you need to know about the changes in the order, Walz's most sweeping executive action.
Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz spoke at a news conference to discuss the state response to COVID-19 on Wednesday.

What you need to know about Minnesota's 'stay-at-home' order

Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz issued an order for Minnesotans to stay at home unless absolutely necessary.
Republican Party of Minnesota Chairwoman Jennifer Carnahan.

Minnesota GOP chair: Dems using COVID-19 for 'communist control'

It was just a preview of the party's broader messaging against Democrats on COVID-19 in what is still a pivotal election year.
Lawmakers doing social distancing in the Minnesota House take the Pledge of Allegiance, Thursday, March 26, 2020 at the State Capitol in St. Paul.

Era of coronavirus tests openness in Minnesota government

Policymakers are scrambling to set up all-new systems after restricting access to public spaces because of COVID-19.
Gov. Tim Walz signed a bill Saturday morning allocating $330 million in COVID-19 aid passed by the Legislature. Walz is working from the governor’s

For Tim Walz and other governors, there's no playbook to managing COVID-19

Tim Walz was out of his element. Minnesota’s extroverted first-term governor was stuck inside his Summit Avenue home with a PowerPoint presentation ready to go…
Elisabeth Samson Lee has been telling the story of her assault to committees at the Minnesota State Capitol.

A push to put BCA in charge of sexual assault cases where suspect is a police officer

Former Pine County Sheriff's Office clerk leads fight to break down the "blue wall of silence."
The Rev. Erik Lundgren listened to confessions outside Sts. Joachim & Anne Catholic Church in Shakopee on Wednesday, an adaptation made to cope with C

To slow infection rate, Walz tells Minnesotans to just stay home

Gov. Tim Walz issued an executive order Wednesday asking Minnesotans to stay in their homes unless absolutely necessary, for at least two weeks beginning at midnight Friday.
“Hockey’s not partisan," said Joel Carlson, a lobbyist and former state legislator who’s played from the beginning.

In 'the cathedral of hockey,' bipartisanship still exists in Minnesota

For the last three decades, a group of Capitol denizens has been gathering every Sunday night to play ice hockey.
Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz spoke at a news conference to discuss the state response to COVID-19 on Wednesday.

Gov. Tim Walz: It's not time yet for 'shelter in place,' National Guard

The administration mulls an emergency order requiring Minnesotans to stay home, which is now being put in place across California as well as being considered in New York City.
Desks and chairs where Minnesota Legislators were allowed to sit, were marked with a letter A, in order to keep them six feet away from each other, fo

Minnesota Legislature unanimously OKs $200M for emergency COVID response

Legislators are returning home until April 14 but will continue to work as needed as the outbreak unfolds.
Governor Tim Walz signed Executive Order 20-02, authorizing the temporary closure of Minnesota K-12 schools to students in order for school administra

Minnesota's K-12 schools closing for at least 8 days, Walz says

The state's K-12 schools will close beginning Wednesday at least through March 27, but Education Commissioner Mary Cathryn Ricker said schools need to prepare for "weeks of distance learning."
The Minnesota State Capitol.

Minnesota Capitol remains open as Gov. Walz says 'access to democracy is critical'

The decision came following days of behind-the-scenes discussions.
The Minnesota State Capitol.

Minnesota State Capitol prepares for coronavirus spread

State Capitol leaders in St. Paul were making preparations Wednesday for the fast-spreading coronavirus, though officials say there is not yet any need to postpone…
Sen. Elizabeth Warren walked on stage at Macalester College last year when her presidential campaign came to St. Paul.

'It's just so bleak': Minnesota women reel after female candidates leave 2020 race

Some hope that a woman will be vice president.
“When I read it I couldn’t believe it,” said Rep. Kelly Moller, DFL-Shoreview, a prosecutor who has introduced a bill to repeal the language ent

Minnesota legislator wants to decriminalize adultery

The way the Minnesota law is written, adultery is a crime usually for a woman and only sometimes for a man.
Amy Klobuchar's speech Monday at a Salt Lake City rally was the last of her 2020 presidential campaign.

Inside Amy Klobuchar's decision to end her 2020 White House bid

Even within the Minnesota Democrat's circle of closest confidants, views on the best path forward differed.
A poll worker spoke with a voter as an Early Voting Center opened in Minneapolis on Jan. 17, 2020.

Your candidate dropped out? In Minnesota, it's too late to change your vote

But early votes in favor of candidates who have dropped out are still counted.
Republicans lined up to register at a precinct caucus at Bloomington’s Jefferson High School in 2016. On Tuesday, Minnesota voters will be able to c

Five things to know before you vote in Minnesota's presidential primary

It's the first presidential primary in the state in 28 years, so naturally, there's still some confusion.
Archbishop Bernard Hebda, pictured in May 2018.

Minn. archbishop to priests: Abstain from voting on Super Tuesday

In a letter to clergy, Archbishop Bernard Hebda expressed concerns about priest's voter privacy.
Vice President Mike Pence arrives on stage to address the opening day of the Conservative Political Action Conference in National Harbor, Md., Feb. 27

Vice President Mike Pence to campaign in St. Paul next week

The campaign event is just days after Minnesota's presidential primary.
Sen. Jerry Relph, R-St. Cloud, is introducing a bill this week to transfer $5 million from the state budget into the Public Health Response Emergency

Minnesota Senate bill would set aside $5 million for coronavirus

State lawmakers are preparing for the likelihood that a case of the virus will reach Minnesota.
Michele Gran held a photo of her 18-year-old son, Landon, on her family's farm near Norseland, Minn.

Minn. 'mama on a mission' pushes for farm safety funding after son's death

Michele Gran is the advocate behind new funding proposals to prevent farm accidents like the one that killed her son.
Former Minnesota Supreme Court Justice Alan Page paused to talk with Rep. Rena Moran, DFL-St. Paul, a supporter of the amendment.

Minnesota legislators introduce constitutional amendment to require a 'quality public education' for all students

The amendment is opposed by the state's teachers' union, which said it opens the state up to lawsuits.
John Harrington, Commissioner, Minnesota Department of Public Safety, spoke about 28 recommendations and 33 action steps that are intended to reduce p

Panel offers proposals to reduce deadly police encounters

The recommendations, including de-escalation training and boosting mental health, will require state funding and action from the Legislature before they can become a reality.
Edwin Torres, Amy Klobuchar’s Latino outreach director

'I walk with an expiration date': This DACA 'Dreamer' is working for Amy Klobuchar

Edwin Torres, her point man for Latino outreach, walks "with an expiration date."
Amy Klobuchar thanked David Wellstone, son of the late Sen Paul Wellstone, for introducing her at the event and for his support. Behind them is Minnea

Klobuchar tells supporters in Nevada, Minnesota that focus is on Super Tuesday

Back in Minneapolis, the Minnesota senator says her national reputation is still building.
Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., walks on a picket line with members of the Culinary Workers Union Local 226 outside the

Amy Klobuchar mines for rural votes in Nevada

ELKO, NEV. – On the eve of the Nevada presidential caucuses, Amy Klobuchar was separated from Las Vegas, the state’s largest city, by hundreds…
CCX Media News Director Shannon Slatton was on set during a live news broadcast Friday. The station is funded by an annual fee from private cable comp

New FCC rule threatens funding for community TV programming

Bill in Congress would protect funding for vital local programs
Sen. Mary Kiffmeyer, R-Big Lake, authored a bill that says election officials could provide provisional ballots to voters who cannot verify their elig

Minn. lawmakers set for Round 2 of debate over election security funding

Democrats oppose a GOP move to tie federal funding to a provisional balloting system.
Sen. Amy Klobuchar and Pete Buttigieg are vying for those Democrats who don’t believe Bernie Sanders can beat Trump.

Amy Klobuchar, Pete Buttigieg vie for Minnesota's moderates

Pete Buttigieg and Amy Klobuchar are each holding themselves out as a fragmented party's best chance of coalescing around a unity candidate who can beat President Donald Trump in November.
Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., arrived on Capitol Hill before the impeachment votes Wednesday.

Trump acquittal widens political rifts across Minnesota

As a divided Senate voted to acquit the president on charges of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress, the case was thrown back to a deeply polarized public.
Davis Senseman and Jared Mollenkof arrived at the Minneapolis early vote center Jan. 16 so they could be among the first voters in the 2020 election,

Minn. lawmakers consider opt-out option for voter primary data

The new proposal, unveiled at the Capitol, also would place new restrictions on how voter data are used.
Briella Jones 5, who lived in the Francis Drake Hotel apartments with her family, holds donated Christmas presents on Wednesday, Dec. 25, 2019, in Min

Minnesota lawmakers pitch $1 billion rent subsidy program

Faith leaders and DFL lawmakers are pushing legislation to create a state-based program for low-income Minnesotans that they say could bring hundreds of thousands of people out of homelessness.
Sen. Susan Kent in a 2015 photo.

Kent: Minnesota Democrats 'unified' over winning Senate in 2020

Susan Kent had a “whirlwind” weekend, and things aren’t slowing down for her anytime soon. On Saturday, the DFL senator from Woodbury ousted longtime Iron…
Rep. John Lesch, shown during a 2015 a working group on revenge porn law, is the lead author of the new bill. He’s considering putting the question

'Revenge porn' cases have Minn. lawmakers looking for a fix

Legislators and courts attempt to balance privacy with free-speech rights.
Some family research found debates 100 years ago in the State Capitol that were surprisingly similar to those taking place today.

Echoes from a long-ago Minnesota Legislature

Under the stoic customs of the rural Minnesota community where I grew up, my family didn’t talk much about politics, even after I got a…
Sen. Susan Kent, DFL-Woodbury, defeated longtime Sen. Tom Bakk in an election for the leadership of the DFL Senate caucus.

Susan Kent ousts Tom Bakk as Senate DFL leader

She toppled longtime Sen. Tom Bakk, who has led the caucus since 2011.
Governor Tim Walz spoke during the 34th Annual State of Minnesota Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Celebration at the Ordway Center for the Performing

In 2019, Walz raises record $1 million-plus for a first-year governor

Record cash hauls reported by Walz, Senate GOP and House Democrats in Minnesota.
A poll worker spoke with a voter as the Minneapolis Early Voting Center opened Jan. 17.

Minnesota lawmakers aim to halt voter preference data collection

The proposal faces tough odds with the state's presidential primary already underway.

Senate GOP renews push for photo ID requirement to vote in Minnesota

State voters rejected photo requirement in 2012.
At left, volunteers worked Tuesday at a phone bank at the Planned Parenthood headquarters in St. Paul to reach voters. At right, March for Life suppor

Roe v. Wade anniversary amps up abortion battle in Minnesota

Activists for and against legal abortion see 2020 as pivotal for the state and the nation.
Republican Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka took questions on the last day of the legislative session in May. He recently touched on conversion the

Senate GOP leader Paul Gazelka reignites debate on conversion therapy

The DFL Party got hold of the video this week, and folks there didn't like what they saw.
Former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder took to the stage as the keynote speaker at the 30th Annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday Breakfast, Mon

Thousands of Minnesotans gather at star-studded events to mark MLK Holiday

Former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder called on the crowd of 2,400 people at the Armory in Minneapolis to ask themselves what they were doing…
Sean Fahnhorst, a state of Minnesota budget officer with a nonpartisan position, in the State Capitol rotunda Thursday, Jan. 16, 2020.

New Minnesota primary system raises voter privacy concerns

Early voting began this morning, and some voters are wary of their party preference being recorded and provided to the chairs of each major political party.
Rep. Regina Barr, R-Inver Grove Heights and her husband Kevin looked around the House Chamber before the swearing in in 2017.

Former Republican legislator joins race against Rep. Angie Craig

Regina Barr announced her campaign after a recruitment push from Republicans inside and outside of the state.