Sophie Nieto-Munoz

Sophie Nieto-Munoz

Sophie Nieto-Muñoz, a New Jersey native and former Trenton statehouse reporter for, 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.

Feds will help modernize N.J. unemployment system under new pilot program

By: - December 15, 2021

New Jersey will be one of the first states to benefit from a federal government project to improve 50 embattled unemployment programs. The Claimant Experience Pilot will aim to design a new system providing “equitable and timely access to unemployment benefits for eligible workers, will rooting out identity theft and other fraud issues that have […]

Bill requiring baby changing stations in N.J. restrooms advances

By: - December 15, 2021

Any new bathrooms in rest stops, gas stations, and county buildings would be required to install baby diaper changing stations under a bill the Assembly Appropriations Committee advanced Monday. The measure, A857, requires certain buildings to include at least one diaper changing station in at least one women’s restroom and one men’s restroom each, or […]

Golf caddies could get independent contractor status under new measure

By: - December 14, 2021

A measure that would protect golf caddies’ employment status as independent contractors is swiftly making its way through the state New Jersey Legislature. The bill, A6033, would exempt golf caddies from certain employment laws and some taxes as well as make them ineligible for benefits like unemployment. It advanced the Assembly Labor Committee Monday, and […]

Undocumented immigrants say they still need more pandemic aid from N.J.

By: - December 10, 2021

New Jersey has doubled the amount applicants can receive from a fund intended for workers who were ineligible for pandemic-related stimulus checks and jobless benefits, a move that comes after complaints from the workers that the application process is too cumbersome and the aid not generous enough. Applicants can now receive $2,000 each, double the […]

Bill protecting same-sex marriage moves forward in Assembly

By: - December 10, 2021

New Jersey is one step closer to codifying same-sex marriage, nearly a decade after a judge made it legal in the state. The Assembly Judiciary Committee Thursday unaninmously advanced a bill, A5367, that would write same-sex marriage protections into New Jersey law. The move comes as some LGBTQ leaders fear a U.S. Supreme Court that […]

After brutal attack at N.J. prison, protesters demand answers and reform

By: - December 9, 2021

Nafeesah Goldsmith asked protesters standing in front of the Essex County Hall of Records to remain silent for two minutes and 23 seconds. “How many of you think that was a long time?” Goldsmith said into the microphone, her voice breaking. The moment of silence lasted the same amount of time Jayshawn Boyd, a 22-year-old […]

Bill would require language translations for some private contracts

By: - December 8, 2021

A new bill approved by a Senate committee would require certain contracts to be translated into the language they were negotiated in. The bill, S4238, would extend to some motor vehicle contracts, consumer loans, rental contracts and leases, foreclosures, and contracts for legal services. Under the legislation, if two people negotiated the sale of a […]

Bills would help people with disabilities gain employment

By: - December 8, 2021

The state could employ more workers with disabilities and create a new program to give those residents more job opportunities under two bills advanced unanimously by the Senate Labor Committee Monday. The first measure, S3418, would create a fast-track authority to help people with disabilities get appointed to jobs with state agencies. The second, S3426, […]

Protesters descend on Trenton to rally support for progressive bills

By: and - December 3, 2021

More than 100 activists converged on the Statehouse in Trenton Thursday to rally for causes that were decades, and even centuries, in the making. Reparations for slavery. Protections to preserve abortion rights. Reforms to hold police accountable for brutality. School curriculum that reflects communities’ diversity. They’ve rallied before, countless times, in a crusade for change […]

Chaotic day in Trenton as Republicans cry ‘tyranny’ over vax rules

By: , and - December 2, 2021

Republican lawmakers had a heated standoff with state troopers in the Statehouse Thursday after flouting a new policy requiring them to show proof of COVID-19 vaccination or a negative test to enter the legislative chambers. The ruckus began when lawmakers were getting ready to take their seats ahead of their 1 p.m. session. Eight troopers […]

Journalism teachers urge lawmakers to pass bill protecting freedom of speech for students

By: - December 2, 2021

After Gov. Phil Murphy issued a conditional veto on a bill aimed at protecting student journalists, supporters of the law are making another push for it. The measure (S108) unanimously passed both houses of the Legislature before landing on the governor’s desk in June. In his veto, Murphy said while he applauds efforts to protect […]

Groups push for N.J. lawmakers to create reparations task force

By: - December 1, 2021

As lawmakers prepare to vote on a slew of bills during the first voting sessions since Election Day, several advocacy groups are pushing them to support a bill that would create a task force to explore reparations over slavery. The bill, A711/S322, hasn’t received a vote since it was introduced in January 2020. Activists say reparations […]