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Byline: Bill Salisbury
Mar. 10--Gov. Tim Pawlenty envisions Minnesota boasting a world-leading education system, affordable health care and the best business climate and safest streets in the nation. But in his fourth State of the State address to the Legislature on Thursday, Pawlenty proposed only modest steps toward reaching those lofty goals. In his speech, the Republican governor hit on themes for a re-election campaign that he has not yet officially announced. He started by taking credit for a 16-point list of accomplishments and ended with a pitch for a constitutional amendment to bar same-sex marriage, a red-meat issue for the social conservatives who comprise his political base. His Democratic-Farmer-Labor challengers jumped on the speech, questioning both Pawlenty's list of accomplishments and his new proposals for the final legislative session of his first term. "Today the state of our state is strong, hopeful and prosperous," Pawlenty said. "Our people are working, our students are learning, and our citizens are healthy."
Looking forward, he said improving education and health care, preserving …