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.

Calls grow for vaccine mandate in child care centers

By: - August 27, 2021

Gov. Phil Murphy’s new executive order requiring the state’s teachers be vaccinated or submit to weekly COVID-19 tests has a blind spot. The mandate imposed by Monday’s order extends to public and private preschools associated with a school board, but it does not cover licensed child care centers that don’t share such affiliations. Advocates said that […]

Stephen Sweeney speaking

Unsigned bills a factor in filling Senate vacancy

By: - August 26, 2021

Senate President Stephen Sweeney’s refusal to seat a new Republican senator was met with claims of partisan politics by GOP senators Wednesday, but the consequences of calling the senate back into session likely share some blame. If the Senate meets with a quorum to swear in Vince Polistina (R-Atlantic) to fill a vacancy, dozens of […]

Judiciary plan calls for demographic data collection, better access to court records

By: - August 26, 2021

The New Jersey Supreme Court unveiled its plan for reducing bias in the state’s judiciary branch on Wednesday. The nine-point plan includes a call for partnerships between lawmakers, state agencies, and jurists to increase job opportunities and training for drug court participants and those on probation, plus mandatory bias training for all court employees. “The […]

Murphy campaign request for earlier debates is denied

By: - August 25, 2021

The New Jersey Election Law Enforcement Commission on Wednesday denied a request made by Gov. Phil Murphy’s campaign to move up the second gubernatorial debate and lone lieutenant governor debate. “As long as it’s within the prescribed statutory and regulatory timeframe, the commission isn’t called upon in the rules or the statute to get involved […]

Local leaders cheer return of UEZ funding, but criticism persists

By: - August 25, 2021

Questions about whether the Urban Enterprise Zone program actually helps residents living in designated communities have circulated for years. The 38-year-old program allows businesses in certain economically disadvantaged areas to charge consumers a reduced sales tax rate of about 3.3%, while providing them with a series of other tax breaks meant to revitalize distressed communities. […]

Gas tax to drop 8.3 cents in first automatic decline

By: - August 24, 2021

New Jersey’s gas tax rate will fall for the first time since a 2016 law coupled the rate to collections, the state Treasury announced Tuesday. The total tax on gasoline will decline by 8.3 cents, falling from 50.6 cents to 42.4 cents per gallon after new projections showed fuel consumption for the current fiscal year […]

School employees must vaccinate by Oct. 18 or submit to weekly tests

By: - August 23, 2021

School faculty and staff workers must complete a vaccine regiment by Oct. 18 or submit to between one and two COVID-19 tests each week, Gov. Phil Murphy announced Monday. The new mandate, which will also apply to state workers, may be the most expansive New Jersey has yet seen. Some workers in health care, corrections, […]

Most voters support school mask, vaccine mandates, poll finds

By: - August 23, 2021

New Jersey voters support requiring masking in schools, and just over half support mandating children over the age of 12 take the vaccine to attend in-person classes, a Monmouth University poll released Monday found. Two-thirds of respondents, 67%, told pollsters they backed the schools mask mandate Gov. Phil Murphy announced in early August. Under those […]

Impact of new prison redistricting law remains unclear

By: - August 23, 2021

The impact of a new law that will count incarcerated New Jerseyans as living in their home communities — hailed by supporters as an end to “prison gerrymandering” — remains unclear. “It was a long time coming,” said state Sen. Shirley Turner (D-Mercer), a sponsor. “In fact, it’s long past time that we eliminate prison […]

man getting vaccine

As virus cases rise, vaccinations creep upward

By: - August 20, 2021

More New Jerseyans are getting vaccinated as the Delta variant drives up New Jersey’s virus case counts. More than 156,000 residents started their vaccine regiment in the first 15 days of August, 43% more than did so during the same period in July. That month, new vaccinations fell to their lowest levels since COVID-19 immunizations […]

116-year-old court ruling is challenge for Rutgers vaccine lawsuit

By: - August 19, 2021

A lawsuit seeking to overturn Rutgers University’s vaccine mandate faces grim odds and court precedent that dates back more than a century. The federal complaint alleges the school’s mandate violates protections against unwanted medical treatment provided by the 14th Amendment and other constitutional rights. The plaintiffs are Children’s Health Defense, a nonprofit headed by anti-vaccine […]

Budget, abortion measures top most-lobbied bills in N.J.

By: - August 18, 2021

Annual spending bills topped again topped the list of the state’s most-lobbied bills, but five of the 10 bills that have drawn the most attention from lobbyists this legislative session haven’t made it into law, according to analysis released by the New Jersey Election Law Enforcement Commission Wednesday. The bills are wide ranging and are […]