Staff Directory 6370434

Briana Bierschbach

Reporter | Politics and Government

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
The state says more than 2 million Minnesota households received a rebate check.

What should you do if you're eligible for a Minnesota tax rebate but it didn't arrive?

Revenue officials say nearly $1 billion in rebates have been sent to more than 2 million Minnesotans.
The Minnesota state flag and seal are getting an update after the Legislature created a commission last session.

Have ideas for Minnesota's new flag and seal? Now's your chance to submit them.

A commission to redesign both is calling for submissions this month and will select one finalist for each.
Security and other airport employees will have to continue to go to work without pay.

What a federal government shutdown means for Minnesota

A shutdown could sideline some of the nearly 17,000 Minnesotans employed by the federal government.
Minnesota Chiefs of Police Association Executive Director Jeff Potts, farthest right, along with several local law enforcement agency heads, held a ne

School resource officers may soon return to dozens of Minnesota campuses

The breakthrough paves the way for departments to usher officers back to school after weeks of concerns about a law restricting student restraints.
Mike Lindell, CEO of Chanhassen-based MyPillow and a prominent supporter of former President Donald Trump’s false claims of election fraud, faces a

Seizure of Mike Lindell's phone didn't violate his constitutional rights, court says

FBI agents seized his phone last year in the drive-thru line at a Hardee's in Mankato, as part of a federal investigation into efforts to overturn the 2020 election.
U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar is leading an effort to pass the Brittany Clardy Missing And Murdered Black Women And Girls Act.

Rep. Omar leading attempt to create federal office for missing and murdered Black women and girls

Omar's bill comes after Minnesota created the nation's first Office for Missing and Murdered African American Women and Girls.
A provision in the education bill signed by Gov. Tim Walz restricts school resource officers from using some physical holds on students.

Some police are leaving Minn. schools. It comes down to a two-letter change in state law.

What changed and why? We answer your questions.
Kate Beane’s family connection to Seth Eastman has added extra weight to her work as a member of the State Emblems Redesign Commission.

Her family has ties to the man who created the Minnesota state seal. Now she'll help change it.

Kate Beane is one of 13 people who will approve the design of a new state flag and seal by Jan. 1.
Planned Parenthood CEO Ruth Richardson resigned from the Legislature earlier this month.

Gov. Tim Walz sets Dec. 5 special election for open legislative seat

Former Rep. Ruth Richardson resigned earlier this month to focus on her work with Planned Parenthood.
Joel Quie hugged family members following funeral services for his father, former Minnesota Gov. Al Quie, who died at the age of 99 earlier this month

Former Gov. Al Quie remembered for his 'deep humanity' and life of service

Hundreds attended his funeral Saturday or visited his casket as it lay in state at the Minnesota Capitol a day earlier.
Toshira Garraway spoke Thursday at the Capitol along with those pushing back on rolling back a law that bars school resource officers from employing c

Minnesota education activists, DFLers argue ban on student restraints needs to stay

Minnesota Republicans have called for a special session to repeal the measure that prompted several law enforcement agencies to pull out of schools.
Gov. Tim Walz spoke about the rebate checks in an August news conference in St. Paul.

Don't toss that letter from Montana. It could be your Minnesota tax rebate.

Paper checks are coming in from a vendor that the state has worked with in the past.
Gov. Tim Walz said he’s open to a legislative fix to the problem, which has led some law enforcement agencies to pull officers from schools.

Walz open to a special session to clarify student restraint rules

Some law enforcement agencies are pulling officers from schools as students head back to the classroom.
The State Emblems and Redesign Commission has four months to come up with a new design for the state flag and seal.

Minnesota's state flag is about to get a long awaited redesign

A new state commission starts its work Tuesday and has until Jan. 1 to come up with a new state flag and seal.
Minnesota Secretary of State Steve Simon takes a selfie with students gathered at an assembly at Albert Lea High School to let 16- and 17-year-olds kn

Minnesota's 16- and 17-year-olds can now pre-register to vote. Will they sign up?

The state and other groups are making a back-to-school push to promote the new law.
Gov. Tim Walz paused outside the Nordic Waffle booth to show his bacon-wrapped waffle dog to a fairgoer waiting in line.

What's the Great Minnesota Get-Together like for politicians when it's not an election year?

There's more fun and food — but still some campaigning.
Former gubernatorial candidate Scott Jensen and lieutenant governor candidate Matt Birk have recently taken different public stances on how the party

Minnesota GOP faces balancing act on abortion ahead of 2024

After midterm losses, Republicans seek to energize the GOP base without pushing away swing voters.
Eric Hyland spent decades “under the dome” as a Minnesota Capitol lobbyist, trying to prove through his hard work and dedication that lobbyist is

'The lobbyist's lobbyist': Eric Hyland remembered as a champion of the industry

He spent decades at the Capitol as a staffer and representing high-profile clients.
Gov. Tim Walz spoke about the rebate checks Wednesday in St Paul.

Minnesota tax rebate checks start arriving this week

Nearly 1 million Minnesotans can expect to see the money in their bank accounts this week.
The changes were included in a sweeping public safety budget package Gov. Tim Walz signed into law in May.

What you need to know about Minnesota's new law expanding gun background checks

DFL changes to firearm laws passed last session go into effect Aug. 1.
Gov. Tim Walz attended a bill-signing party on May 24 celebrating a jam-packed 2023 legislative session on the Capitol steps in St. Paul with supporte

Was the 2023 legislative session the 'Minnesota Miracle 2.0'?

Democrats have frequently compared last session to the historically productive 1970s.
Michelle MacDonald has unsuccessfully challenged multiple members of the state Supreme Court.

Minnesota Supreme Court refuses to reinstate Michelle MacDonald's law license

The perennial conservative high court candidate has had her law license suspended twice.
Stefan Egan is director of scientific applications at extraktLAB.  The company, in Osceola, Wis., makes extractors that help process medical botanical

This veteran used psychedelics to treat his PTSD. Now he wants Minnesota to legalize it as medicine

A task force's recommendations could put the state on the front lines of psychedelic medicine.
Uber and Lyft drivers made a last-minute push at the Capitol this spring to give rideshare drivers pay raises and job protection, but the governor vet

New group will advise Walz on what to do about Uber and Lyft driver wages

Policy recommendations are due to the governor by Jan. 1.
In 2012, Prof. Christy Haynes made her way into a University of Minnesota family room to pump breast milk.

5 Minnesota law changes that just took effect for new, expecting parents

Legislators created new job protections, unpaid leave requirements and lactating accommodations at work.
The rebates are $260 for someone with a gross adjusted income of up to $75,000 and $520 for married filers with an income up to $150,000.

Rebates are coming this fall: How to update your banking information

Eligible Minnesotans should update their address and banking information if it's changed since 2021.
Finished MyPillow pallets are wrapped and stored at the manufacturing facility in Shakopee.

MyPillow selling equipment after retailers pull its products

CEO Mike Lindell says annual sales fell $100 million after several big-box retailers cut ties following his election claims.
Miraya and Andy Gran played a game with daughter Isla, 2, at home in Bloomington. Isla was conceived through in-vitro fertilization.

Minnesota families push for insurers to cover infertility treatments

A proposal would mandate infertility coverage for Minnesotans, including up to four rounds of IVF.
Paul Marquart, Minnesota Department of Revenue commissioner, said no Minnesotans will be impacted in 2023 and legislators have time to fix it next yea

There's a $352M error in the state's new tax law. Leaders say they have a fix

They must correct the tax bill during the next legislative session, which convenes in February.
Student worker Leah Wasson, second from left, led a group of prospective students on a campus tour at Macalester College in St. Paul last week. Colleg

States without affirmative action offer lessons for Minnesota's campus diversity efforts

Universities in California and Michigan saw drops in diversity after affirmative action bans — and the rebound has been uneven.
Minnesota has expanded access while most of its neighboring states have more restrictions since Roe was overturned.

One year after Roe ruling, what's the status of abortion access in Minnesota's border states?

Here's where restrictions stand in Iowa, North and South Dakota and Wisconsin.
The tentative agreement will raise the minimum wage for state workers to $20 per hour.

Unions strike deal to increase state of Minnesota's pay for workers, raising some to $20 minimum wage

The tentative agreement must be ratified by rank-and-file union members.
Taylor Swift performed during opening night of the Eras Tour at Soldier Field on June 2 in Chicago.

Gov. Tim Walz proclaims 'Taylor Swift Days' in Minnesota

The proclamation marks the pop icon's sold-out shows at U.S. Bank Stadium on Friday and Saturday.
Dr. Sarah Traxler looked over a chart as she prepared for a day of work at Planned Parenthood in St. Paul in May.

Post-Roe, Minnesota has become an island of access for patients from other states

That's created a bottleneck as patients stream into Minnesota for a limited number of appointments, increasing wait times for the procedure.
Gov. Tim Walz has been traveling across the country to tout policies passed by the DFL trifecta last session.

White House looks to Minnesota as a model for infrastructure, paid leave and climate policies

State DFL leaders told officials how they passed a sweeping progressive policy agenda and how they plan to implement it.
Minnesota Secretary of State Steve Simon, right, watched as local election officials conducted mandatory public testing of voter machines in 2018.

Minnesota just boosted protections for tens of thousands of election workers

The new law makes it a crime to harass, threaten or intimidate state election officials.
The tax package signed into law includes more than $5 million to study and potentially develop a free online tool for filing state taxes.

Free online Minnesota income tax filing? The state is looking into it

Lawmakers put $5 million in the tax bill to potentially implement a free system for state income tax forms.
Minnesota Management and Budget Commissioner Jim Schowalter said state government will likely hire at least 2,000 people over the next couple of years

Minnesota needs to hire thousands of new workers. Can the state find them?

The state will be searching for staff to enact new programs and agencies amid the tightest labor market in a generation.
The $3 billion package of tax cuts includes a cut in state taxes on Social Security benefits and a new credit for low-income families.

What three of the Minnesota Legislature's biggest income tax changes mean for taxpayers

Use calculators to see how the changes might cause your taxes to go down — or up.
Volunteers put together naloxone kits at the headquarters for the nonprofit Steve Rummler HOPE Network.

Minnesota passes major drug changes, from psychedelics task force to legalizing paraphernalia

The state's new drug policies reach far beyond legalizing marijuana.
The $260 checks for individuals and $520 for married filers could come as soon as this fall.

What you need to know about one-time rebates passed by Minnesota Legislature

Eligible Minnesotans could get rebates as soon as early fall.
Along with DFL legislative leaders and his commissioners, Gov. Tim Walz threw a bill-signing party Wednesday morning on the Capitol steps.

Walz, Democrats and advocates celebrate $72 billion budget

Republicans say the new budget will make it much more expensive to live in Minnesota.
Corbin Hoornbeek, president of the University of Northwestern in St. Paul.

Christian colleges and parents sue over provision in education budget

It's the first lawsuit filed challenging a provision in Minnesota's next $72 billion two-year budget.
House DFL members celebrated after the passage of the Health and Human Services finance bill on the floor of the house Monday.

Legislature ends session by passing largest infrastructure package in state history

Lawmakers sent a $2.6 billion infrastructure package to Gov. Tim Walz's desk on the final day of session.
Indexing the gas tax to inflation would boost it by 5 cents over the current 28.5 cents a gallon by 2027.

Legislature passes $1.3B transportation deal with gas tax hike, sending it to Walz

Debate throughout the session has centered on how to fund much-needed fixes to the state's roads, bridges and public transit systems.
House Taxes Committee chair Rep. Aisha Gomez, DFL-Minneapolis, spoke outside the House chamber.

Minnesota House passes $3 billion tax cut plan, goes to Senate for final vote

The proposal also raises $1 billion in new revenues over the next two years.
Democrats’ agreement to index the gas tax to inflation has been blasted by Republicans.

Minnesota DFL legislators agree to index gas tax to inflation

Democrats struck a transportation budget deal they say raises funding long-term.
With control of state government, Democrats were set to approve the largest budget in state history by far.

Legislature wrapping work on one of the most consequential sessions in Minnesota history

Democrats crossed off a long list of priorities in a single session in power. Republicans say they overreached.
The Minnesota Capitol was somewhat quiet Saturday morning after lawmakers struck a deal overnight to devote up to $2.6 billion to infrastructure proje

Minnesota legislators strike deal on $2.6B infrastructure plan

The agreement includes more money that can be used to aid distressed nursing homes. The deal also aims to end the session on time.
Advocates said the program has been reauthorized for another eight years, meaning they won’t have to worry about the program expiring again anytime

Lawmakers revive Minnesota's historic tax credit

Supporters lobbied to have it restored this year, arguing that the credit helps rehab old buildings while creating construction jobs.
Rep. Frank Hornstein, DFL-Minneapolis, spoke with Rep. Kaela Berg, DFL-Burnsville, and Rep. Mary Frances Clardy, DFL-Inver Grove Heights, during a Hou

What is in $3B tax deal made by Minnesota Democrats?

The deal will provide one-time rebates, Social Security tax cuts and credits for some, but raise taxes on others.
Minnesota Democrats struck a deal on the tax bill in the final days of the 2023 legislative session.

Minnesota Democrats strike a deal on rebate checks, credits, Social Security tax cuts

Not everyone will see a tax cut under the bill, and some corporations and wealthier Minnesotans will be asked to pay more.
Gov. Tim Walz is presented with an old lead pipe in a glass box by Paul Austin, executive director of Conservation Minnesota, after a bill signing cer

Minnesota to spend $240M to remove lead pipes across state

The funding will go toward locating lead service lines across the state and grants to replace them.
One decade later, the legacy of the push to legalize gay marriage can be seen in the more than 10,000 married same-sex couples living in Minnesota.

'Motivated by love': A look back at Minnesota's fight to legalize same-sex marriage

The bill was signed into law one decade ago, two years before the Supreme Court recognized gay marriages in every state.
A divided House responded to Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz’s calls for gun control during his State of the State address on April 19.

Minnesota Democrats strike deal on background checks, red flag laws

The agreement is part of a broader public safety budget bill that includes limits on no-knock warrants.
U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar’s new memoir, “The Joy of Politics,” was released Tuesday.

Four key moments from Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar's new memoir

"The Joy of Politics" is Klobuchar's third book since being elected to the Senate.
Rep. Emma Greenman, DFL-Minneapolis, is a voting rights lawyer who sponsored the elections package. Minnesota joins nearly two dozen other states that

5 major changes in Minnesota's 'historic' new election law

Automatic voter registration and a crackdown on disinformation are among the changes.
U.S. Rep. Dean Phillips held up a naloxone nasal spray during a news conference at the State Capitol Thursday about stocking naloxone in schools. Phil

Minnesota lawmakers push to stock naloxone in schools to fight opioid overdoses

Proposals would help school districts cover the costs of the drug and train officials on how to administer it.
Representatives in the House hugged and high fived after they adjourned Monday night. The Minnesota Legislature scrambled to complete their work befor

What the Minnesota Legislature passed this year, and what's still to be signed

From recreational marijuana to tax cuts, we track the major bills at the State Capitol.
Pine Bend Refinery in Rosemount is one of two major petroleum refineries in Minnesota, along with the Marathon refinery in St. Paul Park.

New Minnesota law aims to improve worker safety at refineries

Third-party contractors must now meet training requirements for their workforce.
Rep. Sydney Jordan, DFL-Minneapolis, is carrying the bill to replace lead service lines in the House.

Legislature poised to spend $240M to replace lead service lines

The funding passed unanimously in the House and is backed by Gov. Tim Walz.
Gov. Tim Walz signed three progressive priorities of the session on Thursday.

New laws make Minnesota a 'refuge' for abortion, gender-affirming care

Gov. Tim Walz signed a trio of progressive proposals Thursday, including a ban on conversion therapy.
4 Muslim legislators condemn Star Tribune editorial cartoon; publisher apologizes

4 Muslim legislators condemn Star Tribune editorial cartoon; publisher apologizes

Lawmakers say cartoon linked Islam to gun violence, contributing to Islamophobia.
Gov. Tim Walz signed a federal tax conformity bill on Jan. 12 in the reception room at the State Capitol.

How do Minnesota Democrats' three tax plans differ?

DFL leaders must align tax bill differences, from rebate checks to Social Security tax breaks.
Mifepristone (right) and misoprostol are the two drugs currently used in a medication abortion.

What the recent rulings on medication abortion mean for Minnesota

More than half of abortions in the state are done through the use of a medication regimen that includes mifepristone.
Sen. Glenn Gruenhagen, R-Glencoe, on the Senate floor Wednesday, March 8, 2023.

DFL senator seeks investigation into GOP colleague for emailing explicit images

Sen. Erin Maye Quade accused Sen. Glenn Gruenhagen of violating the norms of Senate behavior.
Minnesota Secretary of State Steve Simon, right, spoke with “Hamilton” cast member Stephanie Umoh, high school student Moriah Weiss, center, and c

Minnesota Democrats get 'Hamilton'-style boost for election law changes

Proposals aim to expand access to the ballot while targeting disinformation and protecting election workers.
House Democrats must negotiate the final tax bill with Gov. Tim Walz and DFLers in the state Senate.

Rebate checks, credits and Social Security tax cuts proposed in House DFL bill

Minnesotans could see one-time checks of $275 to $550, tax credits for families and Social Security tax cuts under a proposal House Democrats unveiled Monday.
Mifepristone, right, and misoprostol, the two drugs used in a medication abortion, are seen at a clinic.

Minnesota Democrats in Congress back federal appeal of medication abortion ruling

They joined 50 senators and 190 members of the U.S. House in signing on to a friend of the court brief last week.
From her Minneapolis home, Emily Mohrbacher works for abortion fund Midwest Access Coalition, helping people across the country arrange travel for abo

In post-Roe America, these Minnesotans are getting people to their abortion appointments

They're part of a movement to support those navigating the new abortion landscape. In some states, case managers' jobs are targeted.
Gov. Tim Walz and other governors were on a video call Tuesday morning with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.

Walz and other governors pledge support in call with Ukrainian president

The call with more than two dozen governors on Tuesday comes as some Republicans are questioning the aid.
Amazon Prime Now driver Miguel Ramos of Richfield filled up his car in March with deliveries at the Amazon Prime Now hub in Minneapolis.

Minnesota Democrats consider tax and fee increases

From deliveries to outdoor recreation to the metro sales tax, DFL lawmakers eye price hikes along with tax cuts.
Donald Trump nearly flipped Minnesota in 2016, but then decisively lost in 2020. Now Minnesota Republicans and voters must assess where they stand on

Minnesota Republicans, Democrats are polarized by Trump indictment

Voters in both parties questioned whether the criminal indictment will stick to the controversial former president.
Rep. Emma Greenman, DFL-Minneapolis,  is sponsoring a House bill that would create new penalties for people who knowingly spread false information ahe

Minnesota lawmakers target disinformation in election bill

A suite of proposals would crack down on disinformation, deepfakes and intimidation of workers in state elections.
Stephanie Burrage, who on Wednesday was named Minnesota’s first chief equity officer at the State Capitol in St. Paul.

Stephanie Burrage named Minnesota's new chief equity officer

She will take on a new role to advise the administration on policies to close racial disparity gaps in the state.