Monday, March 17, 2008

WCCO: Pawlenty Names Former Law Partner As Chief Justice

ST. PAUL (AP) ― Eric Magnuson, a former law partner of Gov. Tim Pawlenty, secured an appointment Monday to the Minnesota Supreme Court's top job, becoming the state's first chief justice in seven decades without prior service on the high court.

He replaces Russell Anderson, who announced last week he would retire in June. Magnuson, a noted appellate lawyer, had been in charge of screening judicial candidates for the governor.

"For 32 years, I've been thinking this would be a really good job," Magnuson said, with Anderson, the six other justices and relatives looking on. Magnuson, 57, cut his legal teeth as a law clerk to former Chief Justice Robert Sheran and as a clerk to Hennepin County District Judge Douglas Amdahl before he became chief justice. But he has spent most of his career in private practice.

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Friday, March 7, 2008

Pioneer Press: Pawlenty budget fix cuts spending, but also cuts sales tax

Associated Press
Article Last Updated: 03/07/2008 04:03:02 PM CST

Gov. Tim Pawlenty's budget fix comes with a twist: In addition to spending cuts, he's proposing a statewide sales tax reduction.

The 1/8th of a percent cut to the sales tax would actually deepen Minnesota's anticipated deficit, which economic forecasters say will hit $935 million. Pawlenty, a Republican, said today that the sales tax cut would provide an economic stimulus and cost the state treasury $77 million over the next 16 months.

"This is a modest tax cut, but it's a step in the right direction," Pawlenty said.

His plan seeks to use $250 million from the state budget reserve and shifts another $250 million from a health care fund to cover subsidized care for disadvantaged Minnesotans.

Nobody will be removed" from government health programs, he said. But he said a planned expansion of coverage would be canceled.

Tax collectors would pull in $102 million more by doing away with an exemption some corporations used to shield income from overseas operations.

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