Author

Rilyn Eischens

Rilyn Eischens

Rilyn Eischens is a data reporter with the Reformer. Rilyn is a Minnesota native and has worked in newsrooms in the Twin Cities, Iowa, Texas and most recently Virginia, where she covered education for The Staunton News Leader. She's an alumna of the Dow Jones News Fund data journalism program and the Minnesota Daily. When Rilyn isn't in the newsroom, she likes to read, add to her plant collection and try new recipes.

‘Really amazing for families’: Child welfare reforms on the horizon in Minnesota

By: - June 28, 2021

The sweeping Health and Human Services budget bill finalized by legislative leaders last week includes two significant child protection and foster care reform measures, which advocates say will help more families stay together and mitigate racial disparities in the state’s child welfare systems. The bill requires courts to appoint a lawyer in all child protection […]

Legislators release full education budget bill

By: - June 24, 2021

Lawmakers met Thursday morning to discuss details of the newly released education budget bill, after reaching an agreement earlier this week. The agreement announced Tuesday covered funding levels and included some policy changes, and the full education spending bill was posted Wednesday evening. Negotiations on the budget came down to the wire, with less than […]

Tribes object to Enbridge ‘dewatering’ permit as drought threatens wild rice

By: - June 23, 2021

The president of the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe on Tuesday sent a letter to Gov. Tim Walz raising concerns that the Department of Natural Resources didn’t sufficiently engage with tribes before it approved a change to a permit for Enbridge’s Line 3 oil pipeline this month. The permit change will allow Enbridge to extract 4.9 billion […]

Personal income skyrocketed in early 2021

By: - June 23, 2021

Minnesotans’ personal income increased more than 57% over the first three months of 2021, according to newly released data from the Bureau of Economic Analysis. Personal income spiked across the country in the first quarter of 2021, mostly as a result of stimulus payments from federal COVID-19 relief packages, according to the nonpartisan Bureau of […]

Minnesota lawmakers reach education budget deal

By: - June 22, 2021

Minnesota legislative leaders reached an education budget agreement Tuesday, just over a week before the June 30 deadline for lawmakers to pass a budget or risk not being able to send payments to school districts.  The agreement lays out funding levels for new and existing programs, including a boost to the general education funding formula […]

Enbridge continues winning legal victories as activists race to stop Line 3 before it’s finished

By: - June 18, 2021

For six years, environmentalists and Native tribes have been trying to stop the Canadian company Enbridge from building a new oil pipeline through northern Minnesota. So far, Enbridge has been winning, with another recent victory this week in the Minnesota Court of Appeals. Despite the blow, activists say a long summer of opposition to Line […]

Legislators reach agreement on tax bill

By: - June 16, 2021

Legislative leaders reached an agreement on a $900 million tax bill Tuesday, according to state Sen. Ann Rest, DFL-New Hope, who is on the Taxes Committee. The tax bill includes a significant change that will exempt federal unemployment benefits and Paycheck Protection Program business loans from taxation, in line with federal policy. Several states adopted […]

Line 3 encampment ends after a week with one arrest, 50 citations

By: - June 15, 2021

A weeklong encampment intended to disrupt construction of Enbridge’s Line 3 oil pipeline in northern Minnesota ended with one arrest and 50 people cited Monday evening, according to a spokesperson for people organizing against the project. The camp was set up near one of the pipeline’s Mississippi River crossings on June 7 during a three-day […]

Court issues win for Enbridge in Line 3 pipeline appeal

By: - June 14, 2021

The Minnesota Court of Appeals delivered a blow to opponents of Enbridge’s Line 3 oil pipeline Monday with a decision affirming a key permit for the $3 billion project. Opponents hoped the court would halt construction in response to a legal challenge by the White Earth Nation, Red Lake Nation, the state Department of Commerce […]

Two Minnesota charter schools vote to unionize

By: - June 11, 2021

Two Twin Cities charter schools have voted to unionize this month, according to Education Minnesota, the state teachers union. Hiawatha Academies, a Minneapolis charter school network, and Great River School in St. Paul will now start negotiating their first contracts, which could take months. With the new additions, five of the state’s 186 charter schools […]

Senate Republicans, advocates push Walz to back school voucher proposal

By: - June 10, 2021

Minnesota Republicans and school choice advocates gathered at the Capitol Thursday to urge Gov. Tim Walz to meet with them about a Senate school voucher proposal. The advocates want Walz and Democratic-Farmer-Labor lawmakers to back a program called “education savings accounts” as part of the Senate’s education budget proposal. The Minnesota Department of Education, the […]

From near and far: Meet the ‘water protectors’ protesting Enbridge’s Line 3

By: - June 10, 2021

People opposed to Enbridge’s Line 3 in northern Minnesota remained camped out at one of the pipeline’s Mississippi River crossings for the third day Wednesday. The encampment was set up Monday as part of a three-day event called the Treaty People Gathering, intended to peacefully disrupt construction of the pipeline and to fight for the […]