Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

Budget Director's Role Expands ; Sullivan Will Now Also Identify Ways to Make Government More Efficient

Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

Budget Director's Role Expands ; Sullivan Will Now Also Identify Ways to Make Government More Efficient

Article excerpt

Gov. Sam Brownback on Friday expanded the role of the state budget director to include making state government more efficient.

The move follows an increasingly tough budget situation in the state over the past year as spending continues to grow while revenue falls short of expectations.

Brownback also named Sarah Shipman as the new secretary of administration following the announcement of Secretary Jim Clark's retirement earlier this year. Shipman currently serves as deputy secretary of chief counsel in the Department of Administration.

For state budget director Shawn Sullivan, his job will now include identifying and implementing efficiencies across state government, the governor's office said. That includes developing a performance management system and more responsibility over business process improvements.

"Shawn Sullivan has done an excellent job working across state agencies to develop a sound budget that meets the needs of state government while keeping more money in the hands of hard-working Kansans," Brownback said in a statement.

"I have asked him to lead our efforts to further enhance these collaborative efforts to plan, develop and execute projects that involve multiple state agencies."

Sullivan's expanded position comes after he worked with lawmakers to pass a budget earlier this year during the longest legislative session in Kansas history. Ultimately, lawmakers approved and Brownback signed legislation hiking the sales tax and other taxes to close a $400 million budget gap.

Lawmakers expect Brownback to cut $50 million in state spending during the current fiscal year, which began July 1. With those cuts, legislative researchers project that the state will end the current fiscal year with a $67 million positive ending balance.

Without the cuts, the balance will only be about $17 million -- an amount that could easily be wiped out by a couple of months of missed revenue projections. …

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