State’s budget czar to retire, governor announces

Andrew Bahl
Topeka Capital-Journal
Kansas budget director Larry Campbell is set to retire after two years in the post, Gov. Laura Kelly announced Tuesday.

The state’s top budget analyst, Larry Campbell, is set to retire after two years of service under both Democratic and Republican administrations, Gov. Laura Kelly announced Tuesday.

He will be replaced by Adam Proffitt, a former Kelly administration official turned private sector worker who will be tasked with working with legislators on the state’s annual budget — a task that will be trickier in the coming year due to COVID-19.

Campbell, who was tapped by former Gov. Jeff Colyer as director of the budget in 2018, previously served as a Republican state legislator from 1997 to 2005 and then again from 2012 until leaving in 2018.

Kelly praised Campbell, who helped formulate the state’s budget during several turbulent years.

He was heavily involved in charting a course through the COVID-19 pandemic, when the state took a hit in its tax revenues and had to rush to plug budget gaps over the summer.

“I would like to thank Larry for his years of bipartisan service to the state of Kansas,” Kelly said in a statement. “The Director of the Budget is never an easy role, but Larry has my sincere appreciation and gratitude for his diligent efforts to manage our state’s budget through unique and challenging circumstances.”

Proffitt, meanwhile, isn’t a stranger to the Kelly administration, as he was appointed as the head of the state’s Medicaid program before leaving in June to work for Amazon as a finance manager.

He previously worked at the Kansas Department of Health and Environment and in the private sector for Payless ShoeSource and Capitol Federal Savings Bank.

“I am grateful that Governor Kelly has entrusted me with this responsibility,” Proffitt said in a statement. “I look forward to working with the Governor, with the State agencies, and with the Legislature to ensure that Kansas’ fiscal health remains strong, both now and into the future."