Governor Appoints Sviggum New Budget Commissioner

Steve Sviggum will succeed Tom Hanson, who announced earlier this month that he will leave the governor's administration to join a local law firm.

Steve Sviggum will assume the role of commissioner of Minnesota Management and Budget (MMB) on December 2, Governor Tim Pawlenty's office announced Tuesday.

Sviggum will succeed Tom Hanson, who has held the position since 2006.

“Steve has a wealth of government experience that will provide steady leadership at MMB as we conclude our work and prepare to transition to a new administration,” Governor Pawlenty said in a statement.

Sviggum, a former state legislator, served four terms as speaker of the House and three terms as House minority leader. He has served as commissioner of the Department of Labor and Industry since 2007, a position that will be filled temporarily by Cindy Valentine, the department's deputy commissioner, when he departs.

According to Pawlenty's office, Sviggum has been lauded by businesses, advocacy groups for the mentally disabled, and taxpayer watchdog groups. In his new position, Sviggum will lead MMB, which oversees the state budget, provides accounting services to state agencies, and prepares the state's financial reports, among other responsibilities.

Hanson announced earlier this month that he will leave Pawlenty's administration to join the lobbying division at Winthrop & Weinstine, a Twin Cities law firm. Hanson will step down on December 1.

Hanson isn't the only one of Pawlenty's staffers to recently announce his departure. Last week, Minnesota Revenue Commissioner Ward Einess announced that he will step down from his post on December 3 to start his own government affairs practice.