John Hicks began working Tuesday as Kentucky’s budget director after stepping down Monday as executive director of the National Association of State Budget Officers.
Hicks, a former deputy state budget director in Kentucky who worked in the state for many years, is joining the new Democratic administration of Gov. Andy Beshear, who was sworn in Tuesday morning.
Hicks joined NASBO in April 2016 as the successor to Scott Pattison, who took a similar post at the National Governors Association. Pattison left NGA in April.
At NASBO, Stacey Mazer has been appointed acting executive director while a search is begun for Hicks’ successor.
In his new post, Hicks appears to have some tough decisions to present to the new governor. The Associated Press reports that the administration of the previous governor, Matt Bevins, a Republican, recently circulated a memo “estimating that the new governor will inherit a budget shortfall that could exceed $1 billion as he prepares a two-year state spending plan to submit to lawmakers in early 2020.”
Meanwhile, Beshear successfully campaigned for the governorship by promising a $2,000 pay raise for public school teachers which he said is needed to resolve a statewide teacher shortage.
Beshear is the son of former Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear.