Gianforte appoints former U.S Attorney Alme as budget director

Kurt Alme

(KPAX) Gov.-elect Greg Gianforte on Tuesday named the first member of his cabinet, announcing that outgoing U.S. Attorney for Montana Kurt Alme will be the new Republican administration’s budget director.

Alme, who has degrees in law and business, just announced his resignation Monday from the U.S. attorney job in Billings.

Gianforte said voters gave his administration a “clear mandate” to boost the economy and hold the line on state spending, and that Alme has the experience and intellect to help implement that mandate.

“In partnering with Kurt, I’m confident that we’ll be able to identify waste in the budget and free up those dollars so that folks can keep more of the money that they earn,” Gianforte said in a statement.

Gianforte, a Bozeman businessman, won election this month to become Montana’s first Republican governor in 16 years.

Alme said he’s honored to get the job as budget director.

“Montanans want to see Helena change the way it does business, and that begins with how Helena spend the hard-earned dollars of its citizens,” he said.

The budget director oversees the state Office of Budget and Program Planning and is considered a key post in any administration, keeping tabs on overall spending and revenue proposals.

Alme, who grew up in Miles City, has been U.S. attorney for Montana since 2017, when he was nominated by President Trump. The U.S. attorney’s office has 70 employees and investigates and prosecutes federal crimes and also handles some civil cases.

His stint with Gianforte won’t be the first time Alme has served in a Republican administration in Montana. He was state revenue director under Gov. Judy Martz in the early 2000s.

Alme also has served as assistant U.S. attorney for Montana and president and general counsel for the Yellowstone Boys and Girls Ranch Foundation in Billings, that assists emotionally troubled youth.

Alme earned his law degree at Harvard University and has a business undergraduate degree from the University of Colorado.