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.

Judge swap delays party line suit, but decision still likely months away

By: - September 20, 2021

A lawsuit to eliminate a controversial element of New Jersey’s ballot design has been delayed by a June transfer to a newly confirmed federal judge, but the deferral is likely just a speed bump in a case that could stretch for months or even years. The suit to eliminate the party line — which groups […]

GOP calls for lawmakers to return to Trenton are met with silence

By: - September 17, 2021

Republican lawmakers have redoubled their efforts to force legislators to return to Trenton ahead of the November election in recent weeks, but their calls appear to have gone unheeded. On Thursday, Sen. Steve Oroho (R-Sussex) and Assemblyman Hal Wirths (R-Sussex) called on Democratic chairs Sen. Paul Sarlo (D-Bergen) and Assemblywoman Eliana Pintor Marin (D-Essex) to […]

Long-standing teacher shortages could hamper learning gains

By: - September 16, 2021

New Jersey has for years faced a dearth of teachers in certain subjects, shortages that could represent a pressing threat as the state moves to combat learning loss incurred during the pandemic. Some shortages are long-standing. The U.S. Department of Education has reported a scarcity of English as a second language, special education, and foreign […]

Decline in new vaccinations blamed on Ida, Labor Day

By: - September 16, 2021

New Jersey saw a sharp decline in new vaccinations in early September, one likely fueled by a devastating storm, a national holiday, and the beginning of the new school year. About 25% fewer residents received their first doses of two-shot vaccines developed by Pfizer and Moderna or the lone dose of the Johnson & Johnson […]

Judge orders Piscataway council to drop competing ballot questions

By: - September 14, 2021

A Superior Court judge has ruled Piscataway’s council “interfered with and subverted” state law governing local referendums when it approved two ballot questions for November that competed with public questions placed on the ballot by local petition drives. The judge’s ruling paves the way for just two of the proposed four ballot questions to go […]

N.J. top cop notes COVID-related deaths among police as unions continue anti-mandate push

By: - September 14, 2021

An earlier version of this story said New Jersey experienced a spate of COVID-19-related deaths among police officers in the last week, citing State Police Superintendent Pat Callahan’s comments at a Monday press briefing. The New Jersey State Police clarified Tuesday to say Callahan was referencing nationwide deaths. There was a spate of virus-related deaths among police […]

As counties return to in-person meetings, some drop remote viewing options

By: - September 13, 2021

More than 18 months into the pandemic, county commissioner boards in most New Jersey counties have returned to holding in-person meetings, and a third have ended livestreaming operations that were hailed for expanding access to government. Just five counties — Camden, Essex, Union, Middlesex, and Cumberland — are still meeting remotely. Half of the remaining […]

Four more counties given disaster declaration by FEMA for Ida damages

By: - September 10, 2021

Residents in four more New Jersey counties will be able to apply directly for federal aid after the counties received a major disaster declaration from the Federal Emergency Management Agency Friday. Hudson, Essex, Mercer, and Union counties were added to the major disaster list, joining six other counties that on Monday received the declaration for […]

Nine days after Ida, counties still waiting on FEMA disaster declarations

By: - September 10, 2021

Ida-impacted New Jersey counties remain absent from the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s list of initial major disaster declarations more than a week after the storm tore through New Jersey. Some counties hammered by floods left by the remnants of the hurricane — like Hudson, Essex, Union, and Mercer — were not initially issued the declaration, […]

Anti-vaccine group seeks judge’s recusal from Rutgers mandate case

By: - September 9, 2021

Rutgers students and an anti-vaccine group suing the university in an attempt to override its vaccine mandate asked a U.S. District Court judge to recuse himself from the lawsuit, charging his time as a part-time Rutgers lecturer risks the appearance of a conflict. The suit, lodged last month by 12 current or future Rutgers students […]

Residents impacted by Ida get state, federal tax filing extensions

By: - September 9, 2021

New Jerseyans affected by last week’s Ida-related storms will get some leeway on their tax filings, State Treasurer Liz Muoio announced Wednesday. The Division of Taxation will allow filers to submit tax returns and payments due between Aug. 26 and Jan. 3, 2022, on the later date. That includes quarterly estimated income tax payments due […]

Growing chorus of critics want to hit the brakes on N.J. electric heating mandate

By: - September 8, 2021

A provision in the state’s energy master plan has critics clamoring for change. The Fuel Merchants Association of New Jersey has launched a campaign seeking to head off portions of the state’s energy master plan that would require ubiquitous use of electric heating systems, charging they will cost households several times more than predicted while […]