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.

Chief justice raises alarm as court vacancies reach ‘highest level in the history’

By: - May 20, 2022

New Jersey Supreme Court Chief Justice Stuart Rabner urged lawmakers and the governor to speed the approval of new judges Friday, warning the broad swath of vacant seats had stopped some counties from scheduling certain types of trials altogether. Seventy-five of the 433 seats on the Superior Court bench are vacant as of Friday, Rabner […]

Assembly panel moves forward with tax credit plan to offset unemployment tax hikes

By: - May 19, 2022

An Assembly panel unanimously advanced a bill Thursday that would award tax credits to offset rising unemployment taxes on businesses, with the move winning plaudits from business groups and boos from a progressive advocate who said the measure would lead to a lopsided economic recovery. The bill would provide $375 million to pay off federal […]

N.J. moves to license cops in bid to increase public trust in policing

By: - May 18, 2022

New Jersey will move to license its police officers in a bid to increase public trust and accountability, Gov. Phil Murphy announced Wednesday with legislators and police union officials. The move, if approved by lawmakers, means New Jersey would join the 46 states that already license law enforcement officials, and supporters say it would provide […]

Measure would use swelling cash surplus to offset unemployment tax hike

By: - May 18, 2022

Assembly lawmakers are set to advance a bill to defray unemployment insurance tax hikes on businesses Thursday, their bid fueled by the state’s ample surplus cash. The automatic tax hikes are intended to replenish New Jersey’s unemployment trust fund, which pays out benefits to laid-off workers and was drained by skyrocketing jobless claims in the earliest […]

State projects billions more in revenue after income tax collections

By: - May 17, 2022

New Jersey is swimming in cash, and the glut has lawmakers eyeing more tax relief. Two months after they issued already optimistic revenue projections, officials from the Treasury and Office of Legislative Services now predict New Jersey’s tax collections will surge above even those rosy expectations. The legislative office’s forecast collections for the current and […]

A wide conservative field in GOP fight to oust Malinowski from Congress

By: - May 16, 2022

Two years after Democratic Rep. Tom Malinowski’s congressional career nearly ended following a one-point victory over then-state Sen. Tom Kean in what was one of the nation’s tightest 2020 contests, the 7th Congressional District is brimming with Republican House hopefuls. Seven would-be GOP congressmen have launched bids in what is expected to be the state’s most […]

Assembly panel advances voting reforms meant to speed election results

By: - May 13, 2022

In a show of bipartisanship, an Assembly panel unanimously approved a series of tweaks to New Jersey’s voting systems Tuesday. The proposed changes include allowing ballots to be counted before Election Day, truncating the state’s grace period for late-arriving mail-in ballots, and requiring rolling reporting of election results. Lawmakers have sought changes to the state’s […]

Prisoner reentry group announces mental health, addiction services for vets

By: - May 13, 2022

The New Jersey Reentry Corp. will partner with health organizations to offer mental health and addiction services to veterans who received an other-than-honorable discharge, former Gov. Jim McGreevey announced Thursday. The services will include acute short-term psychiatric care provided by Hackensack Meridian Health, a 30-day program for veterans with substance use and mental health disorders […]

Bill would set aside $25M annually in down payment aid for first-time home buyers

By: - May 12, 2022

A Senate panel has unanimously advanced a measure setting aside millions for down payment assistance for some first-time home buyers, but questions remain about the bill’s future. The bill, which cleared the panel in a unanimous vote Monday, would set aside $25 million annually for four years to fund grants of up to $10,000 for […]

Months later, fewer worries about prison worker exodus over vaccine mandate

By: - May 11, 2022

Two months after Gov. Phil Murphy delayed a deadline for workers in congregate settings to receive a COVID-19 vaccine, concerns about a staff exodus at the Department of Corrections have largely abated, with nearly three-quarters of workers vaccinated ahead of the May 11 cutoff. As of April 25, 72% of the department’s staff had completed […]

N.J. will seek changes to transgender inmate policy

By: - May 10, 2022

The New Jersey Department of Corrections intends to change a policy that requires prisons to house prisoners by their gender identity, acting Corrections Commissioner Victoria Kuhn said Tuesday. That policy was enacted as part of a settlement agreement that resolved a suit lodged by a transgender woman who was jailed in several men’s prisons, but the […]

Lawmakers hear competing visions for liquor license reform

By: - May 10, 2022

Competing groups pushed Assembly lawmakers to expand the availability of liquor licenses or keep reforms to a minimum as legislators began the state’s latest push to loosen New Jersey’s liquor laws. Advocates for liquor stores, convenience stores, grocers, and distilleries alternatively urged members of the Assembly’s oversight and reform committee to keep alcohol sales to […]