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.

Democratic leaders bolster proposed property tax relief program

By: - June 15, 2022

New Jersey Democrats will use a swell of unexpected revenue to expand a new property tax rebate program planned for the coming fiscal year, Gov. Phil Murphy and legislative leaders from both chambers announced Wednesday. The proposed changes will more than double the amount of money set aside in the first year for what Murphy […]

Voting reform package steams toward full Assembly vote

By: - June 15, 2022

A series of voting reforms, including provisions on early counting and tweaks to the state’s mail-in voting system, is headed to the Assembly floor after a voting reform legislative package won approval from the chamber’s appropriations committee Tuesday. The five voting bills, championed by Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin (D-Middlesex), are pitched as a response to moves […]

Changes for bill aimed at tweaking bail reform for suspects in gun crimes

By: - June 14, 2022

A measure that would roll back New Jersey bail reforms for a subset of gun crimes appears ready for full floor votes after a round of committee amendments assuaged critics’ concerns by narrowing the bill’s scope. Lawmakers on the Senate Law and Public Safety Committee on Monday unanimously cleared the bill and its amendments, which […]

Judge tosses order that limited protests outside Hudson officials’ homes

By: - June 10, 2022

A Superior Court Judge has dismissed a lawsuit Hudson County Executive Tom DeGise filed against a group of activists and voided a restraining order that had severely restricted when the group could protest outside DeGise’s home. The order, issued in December 2020, limited protests to a single hour every two weeks, barred more than 10 […]

Abysmal early voting turnout prompts privacy concerns

By: - June 10, 2022

Abysmal early voting turnout in Tuesday’s primaries has election officials and voting advocates concerned about voters’ privacy. Only 20,230 voters cast early in-person votes during the state’s three-day primary early voting period this year. While election officials are still counting votes, they have tallied more than 665,000 total ballots cast so far (the state has […]

Ex-senator returns to Trenton to warn state about extravagant spending

By: - June 9, 2022

Former state Sen. Steve Sweeney and a cavalcade of state fiscal heavy hitters warned lawmakers against profligate spending amid record revenue, saying in a report released Wednesday that economic conditions could see the state’s voluminous cash reserves drained in the coming years. The officials said during a press conference in the Statehouse in Trenton Wednesday […]

Assembly panel to weigh tax credits for hiring people recovering from drug addiction

By: - June 8, 2022

Assembly lawmakers will weigh a bill Thursday encouraging businesses to hire individuals recovering from drug addiction. The measure would provide businesses with gross income tax credits of up to $2,000 for each worker recovering from drug addiction, with the size of the award depending on how many hours an eligible employee works. “We have to […]

Senate panel approves tax credits, grants to shore up child care

By: - June 7, 2022

Lawmakers on the Senate Health Committee on Monday unanimously approved bills that would establish tax credits for child care, extend child care subsidies to more families, and establish grant programs to boost enrollment in early childhood education. The moves come as New Jersey continues to struggle amid a shortage of child care workers and as its economy […]

Police licensure inches closer to law after favorable committee vote

By: - June 3, 2022

The Assembly Law and Public Safety Committee advanced a bill Thursday that would require licensure for New Jersey’s police officers in a near-unanimous vote to plaudits from police unions, the state attorney general, and civil rights advocates. The committee approved the bill, which advocates from all sides said would improve police accountability and professionalism, in […]

Critics say menthol cigarette ban would increase policing of Black communities

By: - June 2, 2022

A proposed statewide ban on menthol cigarettes would increase policing of Black communities, cost New Jersey revenue, and enable black market cigarette sales, critics of the plan told lawmakers Thursday. The bill, which supporters say would make cigarettes less attractive for young people and lead to a decline in smoking, comes as the Federal Drug Administration […]

Bill advances that would bar discrimination in home appraisals

By: - June 2, 2022

A Senate panel advanced a bill Thursday that would bar real estate appraisers from lowering a home’s appraised value because of the race of the owner or buyer, and create steep penalties for those who run afoul of the safeguards. Supporters say the bill, sponsored by Sen. Nellie Pou (D-Passaic), is a bid to bridge […]

Assembly panel will weigh ban on menthol cigarettes ahead of planned F.D.A. ban

By: - June 2, 2022

An Assembly panel on Thursday will weigh whether to ban menthol cigarettes, alongside other new restrictions on tobacco sales and nicotine products. The bill (A1989), sponsored by Burlington County Democrats Assemblywoman Carol Murphy and Assemblyman Herb Conaway, would amend a 2008 law that banned flavored cigarettes but exempted those with clove or menthol flavors. “Menthol’s […]