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State Sen. Patricia McGovern (D-Lawrence), chairwoman of the Senate Ways and Means Committee, dropped a political bombshell on Beacon Hill last week by announcing that she would not seek re-election. Voluntarily relinquishing the second most powerful post in the Legislature's upper house, McGovern called her imminent departure a "sabbatical" rather than a retirement from public life. But for now, she's hanging up her political spurs.
Don't expect Pat McGovern to start acting like a lame duck, however. She has more than eight months left in her term, and there's work to be done.
"My first and highest goal is to make sure the budget for this year is in balance," she said in an interview. "When I talked to economists last year, they told me that was the single most important thing we could do for the economy."
Then the trick will have to be repeated for the fiscal 1993 budget, the last one she will write for the …