By CBSNewYork Team

TRENTON, N.J. (CBSNewYork) Gov. Phil Murphy on Tuesday proposed his $44.8 billion spending plan, paving a path beyond the coronavirus pandemic.

As CBS2’s Meg Baker reported, he started things off with some good news for taxpayers.

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“No increase in taxes,” Murphy said.

The governor borrowed money last year and never spent it, and is expecting more federal pandemic aid. Together, he said that would allow the state to grant property tax relief and boost business.

“We’re ready to deploy almost $200 million over the next two years in direct grants, loans,” Murphy said.

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The governor said he will continue to invest in education, from pre-K to free community college, and modernize school buildings.

“The increased investment will help stem the learning loss we know has happened, and it will help bring our students back up to par,” Murphy said.

He said he wants to increase access to health care for all and focus on maternal health, child care, and improve infrastructure. He also said there will be no fare hike on NJ Transit for the fourth year in a row.

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“Safer roads and bridges. Improved mass transit. Clean energy,” Murphy said.

Political analyst Jim McQueeny called Murphy’s proposals a “re-election budget.”

“The last thing they want to see come November is people unvaccinated and people unemployed,” McQueeny said.

Republicans responded by saying Murphy is mortgaging the future.

“There is simply illusory, massive billions of dollars in borrowing and federal money that are artificially permitting us to act as if we’re fiscally sound,” state Sen. Declan O’Scanlon said.

One thing O’Scanlon agrees with the governor on is catching up on back payments to make sure pensions are fully funded for public employees.

Murphy also proposed opening access to the successful Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit to families with incomes up to $150,000.

CBS2’s Meg Baker contributed to this report

CBSNewYork Team