Nikita Biryukov

Nikita Biryukov

Nikita Biryukov most recently covered state government and politics for the New Jersey Globe. His tenure there included revelatory stories on marijuana legalization, voting reform and Rep. Jeff Van Drew's decamp to the Republican Party. Earlier, he worked as a freelancer for The Home News Tribune and The Press of Atlantic City.

Bill would give car owners tax rebates of up to $800 to offset gas prices

By: - May 6, 2022

Car owners would get tax rebates under a new bill intended to provide relief for motorists struggling with gas prices pushed upward by supply-chain constraints and conflict in Eastern Europe. The bill, sponsored by Assemblyman Raj Mukherji (D-Hudson), would provide New Jersey residents with a non-commercial vehicle registered in their name with tax rebates of between […]

Governor Murphy names new watchdog for state prisons

By: - May 5, 2022

New Jersey is getting a new corrections ombudsperson nearly one year after the official who formerly held the post resigned over lax oversight of the state’s only women’s prison. The post will be filled by Terry Schuster, the manager of Pew Charitable Trusts’ Public Safety Performance Program, Gov. Phil Murphy announced Thursday. “Terry’s successful professional […]

New Jersey’s single-use bag ban goes into effect

By: - May 4, 2022

A New Jersey law barring grocery stores from giving customers single-use paper and plastic bags went into effect Wednesday, marking a long-sought victory for environmentalists even as some call for the state to create more exemptions. The measure, signed into law by Gov. Phil Murphy in November 2020, exempts food retailers with less than 2,500 […]

N.J. transportation officials face questions over staff, delays

By: - May 3, 2022

Staff attendance at the Motor Vehicle Commission remains well below pre-pandemic levels despite gains made since the worst parts of the pandemic, Sue Fulton, the agency’s chief administrator, told Assembly lawmakers Monday. Before the pandemic, Motor Vehicle Commission staff attendance rates hovered around 80%, falling to as low as 35% as COVID-19 cases multiplied statewide […]

Education advocates praise boosted school aid, but some worry over cuts

By: - April 22, 2022

Lawmakers on the Senate Budget Committee heard praise Thursday for Gov. Phil Murphy’s plan to boost state school aid, but they also heard familiar complaints about how changes to New Jersey’s school funding formula impacted some districts. The governor’s $48.9 billion budget proposal, announced in March, provides for an extra $650 million in state funding […]

State judge who told parties he had ‘no expertise in family law’ faces discipline

By: - April 20, 2022

A Camden County Superior Court judge is in hot water over a temporary assignment in the vicinage’s family division. The Advisory Committee on Judicial Conduct filed a formal complaint Tuesday against Judge Michael J. Kassel, saying he violated court rules and impinged on the judiciary’s integrity by failing to familiarize himself with family law, complaining about […]

Activists, officials urge N.J. residents to take tax credits

By: - April 20, 2022

Activists and state officials gathered virtually on Wednesday to urge New Jerseyans to take advantage of a series of tax credits that could cut thousands of dollars off their tax bills and even put money directly into their pockets. “If residents don’t know what they’re eligible for and don’t know how they can file, many […]

Most residents approve of plastic bag ban, but paper contentious, poll finds

By: - April 19, 2022

New Jersey’s ban on single-use paper and plastic bags will start May 4, and most Garden State residents are OK with that, a new poll found. A Monmouth University poll released Tuesday found a majority of New Jersey adults, 61%, support the looming ban on disposable plastic bags, but they’re less certain about a provision […]

Solving N.J.’s judicial vacancy problem would be giant task for Governor Murphy

By: - April 19, 2022

Judiciary leaders have warned about an overtaxed stable of judges as they work to clear a staggering case backlog, but if Gov. Phil Murphy wants to give the courts a full cohort this year, he’d have to get more judges confirmed than he has since taking office in January 2018. Seventy-three seats on the Superior […]

Murphy wants federal funds to boost N.J. state police ranks

By: - April 19, 2022

New Jersey will seek to expand its state police ranks in the coming fiscal year by launching a second class of would-be troopers, Gov. Phil Murphy announced Monday. The move comes as the state emerges from a pandemic that strained multiple industries, law enforcement among them, and amid a surge in violent crime that has […]

State law allows police to consume marijuana when off duty, attorney general says

By: - April 14, 2022

With legal sales of recreational marijuana beginning potentially next week, acting Attorney General Matt Platkin has issued a memo to law enforcement leaders reminding them New Jersey law allows cops to light up when they’re off duty. The memo makes clear police officers can consume marijuana legally purchased within the state while off duty, but […]

Environmentalists urge NJ Transit to halt Kearny gas plant plan

By: - April 14, 2022

Environmental activists descended on an NJ Transit board meeting Wednesday to urge members against a revived proposal for a gas-burning power plant agency officials say is needed to ensure trains can keep running when a storm hits. During the board’s nearly four-hour-long meeting, environmentalists warned about the plant’s impact on residents in its proposed home […]