Tim Pawlenty is regarded as one of the nation’s most innovative, energetic, reform-minded and accomplished governors. Now serving his second term as the 39th governor of Minnesota, Governor Pawlenty has brought increased accountability to state government, held the line on taxes, improved K-12 education standards and made Minnesota a leader in energy reform.
As Governor, he has balanced Minnesota’s budget three times without raising taxes, despite facing record budget deficits. Governor Pawlenty’s most notable accomplishments include proposing and signing into law significant new benefits for veterans and members of the military; enacting a property tax cap, eliminating the marriage penalty and cutting taxes; toughening the state’s education standards; reforming the way teachers are paid through a nation-leading performance pay plan; instituting free-market health care reforms that increase accountability and provide tax credits to encourage the use of health savings accounts; and implementing a plan to Americanize our energy sources by generating 25% of the state’s electricity from renewable sources by 2025.
Under Governor Pawlenty’s leadership, Minnesota leads the nation in a variety of measures. Minnesota ranks first among states in Fortune 500 companies per capita, first in overall quality of life, first in homeownership, first in percentage of residents with a high school diploma, and first in residents over 25 with a bachelors degree. Minnesota has the highest average ACT scores in the nation and is among the “Healthiest States in America.”
Pawlenty grew up in South St. Paul, Minnesota. The only child in his family to graduate from college, he attended the University of Minnesota and practiced law in the private sector. His public service career includes serving as a criminal prosecutor, Eagan City Councilmember, and ten-year member of the Minnesota House of Representatives, including four years as House Majority Leader. Pawlenty served as Chair of the National Governors Association and on the National Infrastructure Advisory Council, the Achieve Inc. Board of Directors and the James B. Hunt Jr. Institute Board of Directors. He is Chair of the Education Commission of the States and former Chair of the Midwestern Governors Association.
Pawlenty and his wife, Mary, have two daughters.