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.

Authorities don’t need wiretap order to get some Facebook messages, court rules

By: - April 7, 2022

An appellate panel ruled this week authorities do not need a wiretap order to obtain some Facebook messages and communications, overturning the rulings of two lower court judges. But the court handed the social media giant a limited win after it found warrants drafted in two drug cases failed to comply with time restrictions imposed […]

Legislative approval of federal aid spending should continue, top Democrat says

By: - April 6, 2022

A second legislator expressed concern Tuesday that the administration’s budget plan does not give lawmakers approval over how to spend most of the $3 billion-plus in federal aid the state has not spent yet. Sen. Paul Sarlo, chair of the Senate Budget Committee, told the state treasurer he wants this year’s budget to include language […]

Slew of Republican candidacies leave N.J. with wide congressional field

By: - April 5, 2022

A slew of Republican candidacies has left New Jersey — and the 7th Congressional District in particular —  with a wider congressional field than it has seen in decades. Sixty-three candidates filed to seek one of New Jersey’s 12 House seats ahead of Monday’s 4 p.m. deadline. With 41 candidates, Republicans account for nearly two-thirds […]

N.J. budget experts expect bigger tax windfall

By: - April 5, 2022

Revenue estimates released by nonpartisan legislative budget analysts Monday present a rosier view of state tax collections than one issued by Treasury officials last month. Revenue estimates from the Office of Legislative Services say the state will collect roughly $3.2 billion more than Treasury projections in the current and coming fiscal year: $1.4 billion in […]

Governor Murphy tests positive for COVID, will quarantine, spokesman says

By: - March 31, 2022

Gov. Phil Murphy tested positive for COVID-19 Thursday but is feeling well and showing no symptoms, a spokesperson for the governor announced. A scheduled rapid test taken by the governor returned a positive result that was later confirmed by a more accurate PCR test, spokesman Mahen Gunaratna said in a statement. “Per CDC guidance, the […]

Delay in start of N.J. marijuana market not uncommon

By: - March 30, 2022

The delayed start to recreational marijuana sales has spurred calls for inquiries from one of the state’s most powerful lawmakers, but the nearly 17 months that have passed since New Jersey voters approved adult-use cannabis don’t make New Jersey an outlier among states with legal weed. Eighteen states and the District of Columbia have legalized recreational marijuana […]

Business groups, progressives name divergent budget priorities

By: - March 30, 2022

Business and progressive groups presented Senate lawmakers with divergent views on how to use surging revenues and billions in remaining federal aid at the first of the chamber’s annual budget hearings Tuesday. Representatives from the New Jersey Business and Industry Association and the Chambers of Commerce of New Jersey and Southern New Jersey praised Gov. […]

Same-day voter registration bill back in limbo

By: - March 29, 2022

A proposal to allow New Jerseyans to register to vote and cast ballots on Election Day is back in legislative limbo because of opposition from the state’s most powerful legislator. Senate President Nicholas Scutari (D-Union) came out against the proposal last week, voicing concerns about its impact on campaigns, already strained election workers, and public […]

Bill would require election officials to post uncounted ballot totals

By: - March 29, 2022

Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin wants election officials to let the public know how many ballots they’ve yet to count. A bill introduced by the Middlesex County Democrat Thursday would require county election boards to coordinate with county clerks to post online the number of ballots received, along with the number they’ve counted and the number […]

GOP senators want to know if N.J. workers are picking up their phones

By: - March 28, 2022

A pair of Republican senators want a new method of oversight for state offices: cold calls. Sens. Jon Bramnick (R-Union) and Tony Bucco (R-Morris) on Thursday introduced a bill that would create the State Office of the Consumer to measure the availability of live-person assistance at state agencies, local governments, and regulated industries, like insurance […]

Governor Murphy signs bill offering new utility shutoff protections

By: - March 26, 2022

Gov. Phil Murphy signed a bill Friday that extends utility shutoff protections for New Jerseyans who seek utility assistance from the state. The plan, sponsored in the Legislature by Assemblyman Raj Mukherji (D-Hudson) and Sen. Brian Stack (D-Hudson), applies to New Jerseyans who apply for aid through the Department of Community Affairs or other state program, […]

Anti-bribery bill heads to Governor Murphy’s desk

By: - March 24, 2022

Both chambers of the Legislature unanimously approved a bill Thursday extending the state’s bribery statute to candidates for public office and officials-elect, with supporters saying it will ensure no one is permitted to abuse public office for personal gain. The measure was initially proposed after a bribery case against ex-Assemblyman Lou Manzo fell apart because […]