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Sviggum will replace Tom Hanson, who is stepping down as commissioner on December 1 to join a law firm. He will be on the hot seat when the next economic forecast is released.

Sviggum to man the ship at MMB

Steve Sviggum

Steve Sviggum

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.

Sviggum will replace Tom Hanson, who is stepping down as commissioner on December 1 to go lobby for the Winthrop & Weinstine law firm.

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.

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