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.

Lawsuit seeks to block tax breaks for nonprofit hospitals

By: - September 30, 2021

A progressive group and a teacher’s union have lodged a lawsuit seeking to strike a recent law that exempts nonprofit hospitals from taxation regardless of whether they host for-profit activities. The suit filed by New Jersey Citizen Action, the American Federation of Teachers, their leaders, and two New Jersey residents Tuesday seeks to undo a […]

Divides clear in first gubernatorial debate

By: - September 28, 2021

Gov. Phil Murphy and Republican gubernatorial candidate Jack Ciattarelli met on the debate stage for the first time in Newark Tuesday night in what became a raucous hour that drew a clear divide between the two men seeking New Jersey’s top elected post, replete with repeated jeering from the crowd. The attacks started just minutes […]

Judge declines to block Rutgers vaccine mandate

By: - September 28, 2021

A federal judge declined to block Rutgers University’s vaccine mandate Monday, ruling the anti-vaccine group that lodged the suit failed to demonstrate the action was likely to succeed or that the plaintiffs would face irreparable harm. U.S. District Court Judge Zahid Quraishi denied the bid for an injunction to block the mandate sought by Children’s […]

New Jersey offers wage subsidies, signing bonuses in bid to fill jobs

By: - September 28, 2021

In its latest bid to jumpstart the state’s stalled economic recovery, New Jersey will offer wage subsidies to certain small businesses and signing bonuses for unemployed people re-entering the workforce, Gov. Phil Murphy announced Monday. The new program, dubbed “Return and Earn,” makes businesses with fewer than 100 employees eligible to receive up to $10,000 […]

Judges: Newark vaccine mandate can go forward without restrictions

By: - September 27, 2021

An appellate panel reinforced Newark’s right to enact a vaccine mandate Monday by vacating portions of an earlier decision that required the city negotiate certain aspects of its union-opposed immunization policy. The three-judge panel reversed injunctions issued by the Public Employment Relations Commission last month, with the newer decision finding Newark Mayor Ras Baraka has […]

N.J. Supreme Court rules parents cannot be forced to prove innocence in child abuse cases

By: - September 27, 2021

The New Jersey Supreme Court unanimously ruled Monday family courts cannot require parents affirmatively prove they did not abuse their children, sending a case involving alleged child abuse back to family court. The decision stems from a 2018 case involving an apparently abused infant whose parents were stripped of custody after trial and appellate judges […]

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 […]