Author

Sophie Nieto-Munoz

Sophie Nieto-Munoz

Sophie Nieto-Muñoz, a New Jersey native and former Trenton statehouse reporter for NJ.com, shined a spotlight on the state’s crumbling unemployment system and won several awards for investigative reporting from the New Jersey Press Association. She was a finalist for the Livingston Award for Young Journalists for her report on PetSmart's grooming practices, which was also recognized by the New York Press Club. Sophie speaks Spanish and is proud to connect to the Latinx community through her reporting.

Vaccine proof or negative COVID test soon required to enter N.J. Statehouse

By: - October 26, 2021

All lawmakers, aides, reporters, and visitors to the Statehouse in Trenton must show proof of vaccination or recent negative COVID test results to enter the building after a state commission approved the new mandate Tuesday morning. The vaccine-or-test rule goes into effect Dec. 1, according to the measure passed by the State Capitol Joint Management […]

Biden calls on Congress to pass infrastructure bill, touting new Portal Bridge construction

By: - October 25, 2021

President Joe Biden kicked off the week in New Jersey with Gov. Phil Murphy and other state officials to celebrate the impending construction of the new Portal Bridge, with Biden using the trip to deliver remarks on the $1 trillion infrastructure bill and spending plan that are stalled in Congress. Speaking in front of three […]

Haitian immigrants rally against deportations

By: - October 25, 2021

More than 50 Haitian and Black immigrants gathered on the steps of a federal immigration office in downtown Newark Friday, singing Creole songs and chanting calls for the Biden administration to stop deporting Black migrants. Sparked by the widely shared images of border agents on horseback dispersing migrants, demonstrators outside the U.S. Immigration and Customs […]

Activists troubled that N.J. cities sought DEA surveillance of 2020 protests

By: - October 22, 2021

Activists are concerned about reports showing three New Jersey law enforcement agencies requested the federal government provide surveillance operations during Black Lives Matter protests last summer. The Asbury Park Police Department, Newark Police Department and Essex County Sheriff’s Office all reached out to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration in hopes of collecting intelligence on “radical […]

Port Authority’s deal with Amazon violated board’s public meeting rules, report says

By: - October 21, 2021

A new report claims the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey approved a massive deal for an Amazon cargo hub at the Newark airport through backroom deals with little transparency, and alleges Amazon’s unfair labor practices violate the agency’s code of ethics. Published by Hedge Clippers, a national labor advocacy organization, the report […]

Judge reprimanded for making sexual comments to woman defendant

By: - October 20, 2021

A former judge who alluded to sexual acts while speaking to a woman defendant has been publicly reprimanded by the state’s highest court. Hector L. Rodriguez, a former Franklin Township judge, violated three tenets of state judicial ethics rules during a Dec. 5, 2017 hearing involving an unnamed woman who was charged with multiple drug offenses, […]

N.J. finalizes expanded protections under paid-leave law

By: - October 19, 2021

More New Jersey workers will be protected for taking time off for family leave due to COVID-19 under new rules related to the state’s Family Leave Act, the state Attorney General’s Office announced Monday. The rules expand the law’s job protections to people who, during a state of emergency, need to care for a family […]

Betting on college sports, raffle proceeds for nonprofits on the November ballot

By: - October 18, 2021

New Jersey voters will be faced with two statewide referendums on the ballot this year, both aiming to amend the constitution to change gambling rules. The first ballot question will ask voters whether to allow betting on all in-state college sports. While sports betting was legalized in 2018, this question would amend that law to […]

N.J. career centers set to reopen after prolonged closures

By: - October 15, 2021

New Jersey’s one-stop career centers, which can be a lifeline for the state’s jobless, are set to reopen Monday when state employees are scheduled to return to their offices. Some lawmakers worry the centers may see lines of people hoping to get unemployment claims settled, even though the centers are not equipped to handle those […]

IT chief warns about dangers of state’s archaic technology

By: - October 14, 2021

New Jersey’s technology infrastructure is in desperate need of repairs, with critical state agencies that oversee unemployment insurance and motor vehicle services relying on archaic systems that are at risk of failing at any point and sending the state into disarray for weeks, according to a new report released by the state. “All these legacy […]

After N.Y. fund for immigrant workers is nearly depleted, advocates say N.J. fund is too small

By: - October 13, 2021

Across the Hudson River, immigrant advocacy groups celebrated the $2.1 billion New York allocated for a long-awaited Excluded Workers Fund, available to struggling undocumented residents who were ineligible for federal stimulus checks and jobless benefits. Now that pool of money, claimed by over 300,000 people in the two months since applications opened, is almost gone, […]

Democratic socialist seeking Jersey City council seat

By: - October 11, 2021

A Jersey City council candidate is hoping to bring a touch of Bernie Sanders and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez to Hudson County’s Democratic machine with his bid to become the first democratic socialist elected in New Jersey in a century. Joel Brooks, a union representative with Health and Allied Professionals Employees, is in a two-person race to […]