Gov. Murphy proposes $44.8 billion budget, boosting pension, school aid

Gov. Phil Murphy gave his state budget address Tuesday afternoon, with proposals for school aid and more.
The governor announced that his plan would see the state will make its first full public pension payment for the first time in a quarter century. It would also boost school aid by 7% and offer 760,000 families a $500 tax rebate under a new $44.8 billion budget.
The proposal includes no new taxes or fees and relatively few spending cuts, mostly in the form of savings from what the Murphy administration says are underused programs.
The state Republican Party criticized the proposal for not focusing on the needs of the state’s residents, and instead, pushing his “liberal agenda.”
“Unfortunately, we’re getting more of the same cut-and-paste liberal tax and spend policy that has driven our state into more debt, placed more of a burden on our citizens, and driven one third of our small businesses to closure. Our state needs a new perspective, new ideas for a new era, and most of all, a new governor," state GOP Chairman Michael Lavery said in a statement.
Murphy unveiled the spending plan during a remote speech because of the coronavirus pandemic, instead of with the usual pomp and ceremony during a joint legislative session in the General Assembly.
The Associated Press wire services contributed to this report