Gov. Tim Pawlenty today tapped former GOP House Speaker Steve Sviggum to lead the Minnesota Department of Management and Budget (MMB) for the last full month of his administration, pending the resolution in this year’s governor’s race.
While Sviggum’s tenure at MMB will likely be brief, Pawlenty needs to put a political pro in the commissioner’s office. That’s because the November economic forecast will be released on the day he takes the reins at MMB. The economic forecast will project the size of the 2012-2013 state budget deficit. The most recent estimate has pegged the deficit at $5.8 billion.
Sviggum, R-Kenyon, was speaker from 1999 to 2006.
Pawlenty appointed Sviggum in 2007 as commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry (DLI). DLI Deputy Commissioner Cindy Valentine will become the temporary commissioner in Sviggum’s place.