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.

Bill advances that would allow election officials to count ballots early

By: - March 4, 2022

The Senate’s government committee advanced a bill Thursday that would allow election officials to begin counting mail-in and early-vote ballots before polls close, a move that comes as lawmakers have become more frustrated with delays in reporting election results. The bill, which cleared the panel in a 4-1 vote, would allow county election boards to […]

Senate pushes state to clear unemployment backlog, reopen state offices

By: - March 3, 2022

The New Jersey Senate unanimously approved a resolution Thursday urging Gov. Phil Murphy to clear the state’s unemployment backlog and fully reopen all state offices, an action it took minutes before the administration announced the state’s one-stop career centers will begin offering in-person unemployment assistance. Senate President Nicholas Scutari said the point of the body’s […]

Murphy proposes new direct property tax relief program

By: - March 3, 2022

Gov. Phil Murphy on Thursday announced a $900 million replacement for the aging and perennially underfunded Homestead Benefit Program, the latest plan in Murphy’s second-term push to make New Jersey more affordable. The proposal — the Affordable New Jersey Communities for Homeowners and Renters (ANCHOR) Property Tax Relief Program — would boost direct relief to […]

Vote canceled on bill approving same-day voter registration

By: - March 3, 2022

A bill that would allow New Jerseyans to register to vote at their polling place on Election Day was pulled from the Senate government committee’s Thursday meeting agenda by Senate leadership, the panel’s chairman said. It’s not clear why the bill was pulled, though it was likely tabled on the order of Senate President Nicholas […]

Vaccination rate for prison workers jumps to 51% as Murphy postpones mandate deadline

By: - March 2, 2022

Vaccination rates among state corrections workers jumped nearly eight percentage points since a vaccine mandate for prisons and other congregate settings went into effect last month, but nearly half have yet to complete their vaccine regimen. This comes as Gov. Phil Murphy has delayed the deadline for corrections officials and workers in other non-health care […]

Senate panel advances tax cut bill, but worries remain

By: - March 1, 2022

The Senate Budget Committee advanced a series of bills aimed at making New Jersey more affordable in largely bipartisan votes Monday, but a proposal to tie New Jersey’s tax brackets to inflation faces an uncertain path amid silence from Gov. Phil Murphy’s administration. The bill, sponsored by Senate Minority Leader Steve Oroho (R-Sussex) and Sen. […]

Lawmakers move to block state investments in Russia, Belarus

By: - February 28, 2022

Senate lawmakers moved to level further economic anguish on Russia over its invasion of Ukraine by approving a bill that would bar Russian and Belarusian businesses and those with investments in the two countries from winning public dollars. The bill, which cleared the Senate Budget Committee Monday in a unanimous vote, orders state agencies and local governments to […]

New year brings tax breaks for student borrowers

By: - February 25, 2022

A trio of tax breaks for college students and their families went into effect with the start of the new year. The programs, enacted under a bill signed into law last year, allow New Jerseyans with annual household incomes of $200,000 or less to deduct up to $22,500 from their state income tax bills. “There’s […]

Murphy to end COVID press briefings after two years

By: - February 23, 2022

Press briefings that were a staple of the Murphy administration’s pandemic-era communications strategy will come to an end on March 4, the second anniversary of the state’s first case of COVID-19, Gov. Phil Murphy announced Wednesday. “We’re getting back to where we want to be, which is normal,” Murphy said. The briefings, he said, may […]

GOP: Cut top N.J. officials’ salaries to force in-person unemployment assistance

By: - February 23, 2022

Republican lawmakers on Tuesday announced a novel proposal to speed up processing for New Jersey’s lingering unemployment claims: Slash the salaries of top Department of Labor officials. The bill, the latest in a series of Republican efforts to increase the availability of in-person assistance for residents filing unemployment claims, would cut the salaries of the […]

N.J. Statehouse vaccine mandate to end Friday

By: - February 22, 2022

Controversial rules that require anyone entering the Statehouse to show proof of COVID-19 vaccination or a recent negative test will end Friday after a vote by a bicameral panel Tuesday. The new rules approved by the State Capitol Joint Management Commission supersede strict virus restrictions enacted by Democratic legislative leaders in October 2020 and November […]

Inflation surge behind renewed push of tax cut plan

By: - February 22, 2022

A Senate panel will weigh tying New Jersey’s income tax brackets to inflation next week, giving fresh air to a tax cut proposal that has remained stalled for more than a decade. The proposal that will come before the Senate Budget Committee on Monday would require the Division of Taxation to annually adjust New Jersey’s […]