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.

GOP launches campaign to pressure Murphy on pandemic restrictions, excess revenue

By: - February 3, 2022

Senate Republicans launched a pressure campaign Thursday with hopes of convincing Gov. Phil Murphy to pull back a series of pandemic restrictions and budgeting decisions, among some nebulous demands. During a brief virtual press conference, the minority caucus announced the launch of its “Give it Back” initiative. The push will see Republican officeholders drive voters […]

N.J. congressional map stands after top court dismisses GOP challenge

By: - February 3, 2022

The state Supreme Court on Thursday dismissed a Republican lawsuit seeking to restart the congressional redistricting process, a decision that protects district lines that will likely allow Democrats to maintain a broad majority of New Jersey’s House seats. The court said its review of the redistricting process sought only to determine whether the map adopted […]

Cost correction draws more criticism for Murphy’s electrification plan

By: - February 3, 2022

Opponents of electrification benchmarks in Gov. Phil Murphy’s plan to cut greenhouse gas emissions redoubled their criticism this week after the state revealed it understated the cost difference between electric and gas boilers. The Department of Environmental Protection, which is mulling new regulations for boiler permits, said in a rule proposal unveiled in December that […]

Report recommends withholding Medicaid from lowest-rated nursing homes

By: - February 2, 2022

A state watchdog is recommending the state pull Medicaid awards from New Jersey’s least safe nursing homes in a bid to force the long-troubled facilities to improve their services. In a report released Wednesday, the Office of the State Comptroller found the 15 worst-rated long-term care centers in the state continued to receive hundreds of […]

Judge declines to reinstate Sweeney to redistricting panel

By: - February 1, 2022

A Superior Court judge on Tuesday declined to reinstate former Senate President Steve Sweeney to the state’s legislative redistricting commission following his removal during an intra-party spat with Democratic State Chair LeRoy Jones. Judge Robert Lougy said after a roughly two-hour hearing Sweeney had failed to establish that his case meets the strict standards it […]

Bill to ban smoking in casinos could move in spring, sponsor says

By: - February 1, 2022

Sen. Joe Vitale (D-Middlesex) said he plans to move a bill expanding the casino smoking ban in early spring, despite opposition from casino operators who charge the bill would leave them unable to compete with Pennsylvania gaming facilities. “They try to cloud the argument with job loss or financial ruin,” said Vitale, chair of the […]

GOP push to curtail Murphy’s powers appears to win some Dem support

By: - January 31, 2022

New Jersey Republicans introduced another bill Monday that would curtail Gov. Phil Murphy’s emergency powers, but unlike earlier attempts, this bid appears poised to win some Democratic support. The bill, sponsored by Sen. Declan O’Scanlon (R-Monmouth), would automatically sunset state of emergency declarations issued by the governor 60 days after they come into effect unless […]

With new lawmakers taking office, attorneys still overrepresented in Legislature

By: - January 31, 2022

New Jersey’s new class of legislators features fewer business owners, one less lawyer, and a greater number of private-sector workers, but the number of lawmakers with jobs in local and county government remained level after election victors were sworn in on Jan. 11. Sen. Pat Diegnan views the changes as a positive. “The Legislature should […]

Lawmakers on Senate panel pass bills with an eye on affordability

By: - January 28, 2022

A Senate panel kicked off the new legislative session Thursday by advancing a series of bills lawmakers say are intended to address New Jersey’s ever-rising cost of living. The Senate Community and Urban Affairs Committee approved bills aiming to reduce residents’ tax burdens by increasing a deduction for renters and requiring municipalities reduce their property […]

Judiciary committee advances former senators’ nominations

By: - January 28, 2022

The Senate Judiciary Committee advanced the nominations Thursday of two former state senators who left the chamber earlier this month. In a unanimous vote, the panel approved the nomination of former state Sen. Kip Bateman to the Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield board of directors and former Sen. Dawn Addiego to be Burlington County’s superintendent […]

Who is Sean Caddle, the operative at center of murder-for-hire plot?

By: - January 27, 2022

Sean Caddle, the political consultant who admitted Tuesday to hiring two men in 2014 to kill an operative he once employed, has a long and not altogether savory history in the Garden State. Bill O’Dea, a Hudson County Commissioner, called Caddle “a gun for hire, as most people in that field are.” O’Dea ran campaigns […]

One-time aide to ex-state senator admits arranging political operative’s murder

By: - January 25, 2022

Sean Caddle — a political consultant and one-time aide to former state Sen. Raymond Lesniak —admitted hiring two men to kill a Hudson County man in May 2014, federal authorities announced Tuesday. Caddle, 44, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit murder for hire, admitting he paid thousands to two men for killing […]