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.

Advocates warn lawmakers of staffing crises across multiple sectors

By: - March 24, 2022

Advocates urged members of the Assembly Budget Committee to devote resources to address staff shortages across multiple sectors Wednesday during a second round of budget hearings. The warnings of a winnowed workforce extended to schools, child care centers, and health care facilities, and in each case, advocates said the pandemic exacerbated long-standing staffing problems. “For […]

N.Y., N.J. in legal fight over port watchdog’s fate

By: - March 23, 2022

New York and New Jersey are engaged in a legal battle over the Garden State’s attempt to pull out of a bistate law enforcement agency that oversees the Port of New York and New Jersey. New York has sued to stop Gov. Phil Murphy’s March 28 withdrawal from the Waterfront Commission of New York Harbor, […]

Remaining COVID restrictions in Statehouse are lifted

By: - March 22, 2022

A panel tasked with managing New Jersey’s capitol has approved the sunset of the final COVID-19 restrictions in place at the Statehouse. The State Capitol Joint Management Commission unanimously voted on a resolution Tuesday that ends a loosely enforced mask mandate and lifts occupancy restrictions imposed to halt the spread of the virus. “We think […]

N.J. Senate president opposes pump-your-own-gas bill

By: - March 21, 2022

A push to allow New Jerseyans to pump their own gas may be dead in the water amid a lack of support from the state’s most powerful legislator. Senate President Nicholas Scutari told the New Jersey Monitor in a statement he does not support a recently introduced bill that would allow for self-service gas pumps. […]

Appellate court to decide whether candidates are subject to bribery law

By: - March 21, 2022

The question of whether a private citizen seeking political office in New Jersey can legally accept a bribe is now in the hands of a three-judge appellant panel, which heard arguments Monday in the case of ex-Assemblyman Jason O’Donnell. Prosecutors say O’Donnell, who unsuccessfully campaigned to become Bayonne’s mayor in 2018, accepted $10,000 in a […]

Lawmakers poised to fast-track new utility shutoff protections

By: - March 21, 2022

Lawmakers appear poised to fast-track a bill creating new utility shutoff protections following the lapse of the state’s shutoff moratorium last week. Senate and Assembly committees will weigh a measure Monday allowing residents behind on their utility bills the ability to defer payments while they seek financial assistance from the state. Close to a million […]

Assembly panel approves bribery statute expansion

By: - March 18, 2022

An Assembly panel unanimously approved a long-stalled bill Thursday that would make unelected candidates for public office subject to the state’s bribery laws. The bill, sponsored by Assemblyman Greg McGuckin (R-Ocean) and first introduced nearly 10 years ago, would provide a legislative fix to court rulings that dismissed bribery charges against two former Hudson County […]

Make New Jersey one of the first presidential primary states, Democratic chair says

By: - March 17, 2022

New Jersey Democrats want a bigger say in presidential primaries. Democratic State Chairman LeRoy Jones urged Democratic National Committee Chairman Jaime Harrison in a letter Wednesday to consider adding New Jersey to the list of early primary states as the national Democratic organization considers retooling its nomination calendar to better reflect the party’s demographics. “It […]

Lawmakers weigh six-month bag ban delay for food pantries

By: - March 17, 2022

New Jersey’s ban on disposable plastic bags is set to go into effect in May, but the state’s food banks and pantries could be exempted from those rules for a while longer. On Thursday, the Assembly State and Local Government Committee will weigh a bill exempting the aid organizations from the law for an additional […]

After decade in limbo, lawmakers may debate bill to criminalize bribery for office seekers

By: - March 16, 2022

A bill that would extend the state’s bribery laws to candidates for political office is set to be heard by an Assembly committee Thursday after nearly 10 years in stasis. The bill’s introduction and its apparent renewal were spurred by bribery charges against two former assemblymen whose cases were dismissed after judges ruled the state’s […]

Residents urged to seek aid as utility shutoff moratorium lapses

By: - March 15, 2022

State officials urged residents behind on their utility bills to seek aid from the state or their utility providers Tuesday, warning the end of a winter moratorium could lead to shutoffs for hundreds of thousands of residents. “The funding is there. We want you to come forward and apply for it. We do not want […]

Lawmakers weigh changes to bail reform, citing uptick in gun violence

By: - March 15, 2022

It would be harder for people charged with some gun crimes to be released from jail before trial under a bill advanced by an Assembly panel Monday, a move opposed by advocates who fear a rise in incarceration split heavily along racial lines. The bill, approved by the Assembly Law and Public Safety Committee, shifts the […]