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State of the State

ST. PAUL -- The state of the state is, it appears, political.

Tim Pawlenty rattled off 16 "major accomplishments" in his first three years as governor Thursday during a 40-minute State of the State speech that challengers said was a preview of his re-election campaign.

The Republican governor patted himself on the back for completing "the biggest financial turnaround in Minnesota history, going from a $4.5 billion deficit to a billion surplus."

He said his proposal to pay teachers based on performance means Minnesota "regained our status as the nation's innovators in education."

And he promoted "the largest transportation funding package in modern history," in which the state borrowed money to pay for road construction and transit needs.

Pawlenty declared: "Our people are working. Our students are learning. And our citizens are healthy." He said Minnesota is a lighthouse for other states on many issues.

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Don Davis
Don Davis has been the Forum Communications Minnesota Capitol Bureau chief since 2001, covering state government and politics for two dozen newspapers in the state. Don also blogs at Capital Chatter on Areavoices.