Author

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.

N.J. Supreme Court chief wants clarification on redistricting choice

By: - January 4, 2022

The New Jersey Supreme Court asked former Justice John Wallace Tuesday to expand on his explanation for choosing a new congressional map submitted by Democrats. Wallace — Democrats’ choice for tiebreaker on the state’s Congressional Redistricting Commission — has faced criticism from Republicans and some Democrats for saying he chose the Democratic map because the […]

N.J. courts chip away at backlog, but COVID surge could imperil efforts

By: - January 4, 2022

More than two years into the pandemic, New Jersey’s courts are struggling with tens of thousands of backlogged cases, and a variant-fueled surge of COVID-19 cases could bloat the heap of unheard cases yet further. In March 2020 — before the pandemic forced the courts to move all proceedings to virtual spaces — New Jersey’s […]

Lawmakers turn to retired teachers as remote learning returns to some schools

By: - January 3, 2022

An Assembly panel unanimously advanced a measure Monday that would allow retired teachers and some professional educational staff to temporarily return to work without impacting the status of their pensions. The panel’s action comes as school districts nationwide are facing a return to remote learning because of staffing issues related to COVID-19 infections. A surge […]

N.J. corrections department without permanent head for six months

By: - December 30, 2021

The New Jersey Department of Corrections remains without a permanent head nearly six months after Commissioner Marcus Hicks resigned on the heels of a scathing report that found significant lapses in oversight at the state’s only women’s prison. Hicks quit in early June after a report drafted by former State Comptroller Matt Boxer found leadership […]

Eviction moratorium to lapse with year’s end

By: - December 28, 2021

New Jersey’s eviction moratorium is set to expire with the start of the new year, ending protections for roughly 350,000 middle and low-income households that have been in place since March 2020. Though a broader ban that barred removals for all New Jerseyans regardless of income level expired in August, a bill Murphy signed early […]

Judge won’t immediately block Atlantic City casino aid law

By: - December 22, 2021

A Superior Court judge in Atlantic County Wednesday declined to temporarily block new changes to tax agreements between Atlantic City and the gambling mecca’s casinos, changes forecasted to cost the city and county tens of millions of dollars annually. Judge Joseph Marczyk denied temporary restraints sought by Atlantic County, saying he did not want to […]

New congressional district map largely a victory for Democrats

By: - December 22, 2021

Democrats won a victory Wednesday when the New Jersey Redistricting Commission approved the party’s preferred new congressional map after the tiebreaker, former Supreme Court Justice John Wallace, backed the party’s map in what was otherwise a party-line vote. The new map will shore up competitive North Jersey districts held by Reps. Mikie Sherrill (D-11) and Josh […]

Bill barring water, sewer shutoffs until March goes to Murphy’s desk

By: - December 21, 2021

A bill that would bar water and sewer shutoffs until mid-March went to Gov. Phil Murphy’s desk after winning approval in both chambers of the Legislature Monday. The measure, which cleared the Senate and Assembly in unanimous votes, would halt shutoffs until March 15, 2022. Municipal utilities would be barred from placing, selling, and enforcing […]

Troopers bar GOP lawmakers from entering N.J. Statehouse over vaccine policy

By: and - December 20, 2021

A handful of Republican Assembly members who attempted to enter the Statehouse without showing proof of COVID-19 vaccination or a recent negative test were barred from entry Monday by New Jersey State Police troopers. Some members of the group — who were successful earlier this month in entering the building without complying with the policy […]

Another vaccine-rule dustup expected in Assembly Monday

By: - December 17, 2021

Some Assembly Republicans will again defy statehouse vaccine rules during voting sessions on Monday, the New Jersey Monitor has learned. On a caucus call that lasted for more than an hour Friday, GOP members in the lower chamber discussed their plans for Monday’s voting session, the second since the State Capitol Joint Management Commission enacted […]

Bill to identify vacant property owners heads to Senate floor

By: - December 17, 2021

The Senate Budget Committee unanimously advanced a bill that would require owners to register vacant and abandoned properties with their municipal clerks. Vacant properties — whether they are homes, businesses, or even lots — often drive down property values of surrounding units, and their dilapidation can tax municipal resources. They can even become havens for […]

Judiciary panel unanimously advances Callahan confirmation

By: - December 16, 2021

The Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday unanimously advanced the long-stalled nomination of State Police Superintendent Col. Patrick Callahan, ending a standstill that predates Phil Murphy’s tenure as governor. Callahan was nominated to the post in May 2018, but he’d already held the position on an acting basis for several months, having been put up for […]