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Dayton’s Minn. Budget Chief Comes From The Inside

Mark DaytonST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) – Minnesota Gov.-elect Mark Dayton is sticking with someone who knows his way around Minnesota’s finances to be his chief budget adviser.

Dayton, a Democrat, chose Jim Schowalter on Thursday to be commissioner of the Minnesota Management and Budget Department. It’s a familiar place for Schowalter, who has served there in top roles under departing GOP Gov. Tim Pawlenty.

Schowalter has been Minnesota’s deputy budget commissioner since April and served as the down-a-rung state budget director before that.

As commissioner, Schowalter will be closely involved in Dayton’s big-picture budget decisions. He’ll also have to defend budget proposals in front of a Republican-led Legislature.

Schowalter is the second high-level official from the Pawlenty administration to get a key job from Dayton. Earlier this month, Dayton re-signed Transportation Commissioner Tom Sorel.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)

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