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.

N.J. cops can’t share immigration info with feds, appeals court decides

By: - August 10, 2021

New Jersey’s Immigrant Trust Directive, an order restricting authorities from sharing immigration information with federal officials, has been upheld by a federal appeals court, ending a legal battle between the state and two counties. The three-judge panel rejected the counties’ arguments that federal law pre-empts New Jersey from implementing the directive, which immigrant advocates say has […]

Governor Phil Murphy speaking

Announcement of mask mandate in N.J. schools greeted with cheers, boos

By: - August 6, 2021

New Jersey teachers and students getting ready for school this fall will have to add one more thing to their back-to-school lists: masks. New Jersey will reinstate its mask mandate for all K-12 students, teachers, and staff, regardless of vaccination status, for the upcoming school year, Gov. Phil Murphy announced Friday. “I want as much […]

N.J. courts adjourning some eviction cases for 60 days

By: - August 6, 2021

On the heels of major changes to the state’s eviction moratorium, eviction cases in New Jersey courts will be adjourned while applications for rental assistance are processed. The New Jersey Judiciary said Thursday the adjudications will allow time for parties to resolve the cases using rental relief funds, if possible. In order for the eviction […]

As eviction moratoriums change, who is protected in N.J.?

By: - August 5, 2021

Moratoriums and executive orders put in place to keep renters in their homes during the coronavirus pandemic are expiring across the country while health concerns and high unemployment rates continue. But even as the Centers for Disease Control reinstates a 60-day eviction ban for parts of the country — a ban President Joe Biden has […]

Hurdles persist for undocumented immigrants seeking N.J. driver’s licenses

By: - July 30, 2021

It’s been three months since New Jersey implemented a law allowing undocumented immigrants to get driver’s licenses and members of that community say they face multiple hurdles trying to obtain them. From being denied translators to getting turned away despite possessing valid documents to a booked-solid appointment system, advocacy groups argue too many people keep running […]

With Legislature in recess, N.J. Supreme Court justice delays retirement

By: - July 29, 2021

New Jersey Supreme Court Justice Jaynee LaVecchia is delaying her retirement date until the state Legislature returns to approve her replacement, according to a statement released by the courts. She had planned to retire on Aug. 30 in advance of the new court session, which begins Sept. 1. But with the Legislature on an extended […]

N.J. lawmakers brag of leading a diverse state. But legislature is overwhelmingly white

By: - July 28, 2021

New Jersey officials boast that they lead one of the most diverse states in the nation, but white men are still making most of the decisions in Trenton. And while the diversity of the chamber’s members has risen over the last 10 years, most communities still aren’t accurately reflected in the state Legislature. “It’s changing, […]

Fraction of N.J.’s rental assistance fund has been distributed, state says

By: - July 28, 2021

The state’s biggest rent relief program aimed at helping New Jersey tenants on the brink of financial crisis has helped just 11% of applicants so far, according to the state agency overseeing the fund. Of the 113,000 struggling renters who applied for the second phase of New Jersey’s COVID-19 Emergency Rental Assistance Program, 13,489 households […]