Pawlenty signs two key bills

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Gov. Tim Pawlenty has signed a bill that he says will advance the cause of jobs and economic investment in Minnesota.

The measure creates new tax breaks for investments in small businesses, historic structures, energy improvements and research and development. There are also provisions designed to get a Mall of America expansion underway and to keep the St. Paul Ford plant open. During a signing ceremony today), Pawlenty said Minnesota’s quality of life depends on the availability of jobs.

“We need to be doing those things that encourage more job growth, businesses starting in our state, more economic activity and investment in our state, Pawlenty said. “And this bill takes a very significant and important step forward in that regard.”

The Republican governor said he also signed a supplemental budget bill that erases about a third of the nearly $1 billion deficit. Legislators passed both bills Monday before taking a weeklong holiday break.

Pawlenty offered an upbeat assessment of the session.

“I think it represents good work, good progress and pretty good relations so far,” Pawlenty said.

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