HELENA (KPAX) — State Budget Director Kurt Alme, on the job for less than eight months, will step down next month and be replaced by a Republican state senator and rancher, the Gianforte administration announced late Tuesday.
In a news release, Gov. Greg Gianforte said state Sen. Ryan Osmundson of Buffalo will be the administration’s new budget director as of Oct. 1.
“With a decade of experience shaping state budgets in the Montana Legislature, Ryan has earned a reputation as a strong fiscal conservative,” Gianforte said. “Ryan will bring his years of experience and leadership to build upon Kurt’s work, developing a fiscally conservative budget while preserving essential services and ensuring Montanans keep more of what they earn.”
Osmundson is chair of the Senate Finance and Claims Committee, the main budget panel in the Senate. Once he becomes budget director, he’ll have to resign his Senate seat.
In a statement, Osmundson said it would be “an honor and a privilege” to work with Gianforte as budget director.
“I look forward to working with the talented team at the budget office to ensure we’re good stewards of taxpayer money and continue the governor’s efforts to bring greater fiscal discipline to state government,” he said.
Alme was one of Gianforte’s first cabinet appointments after Gianforte won the governorship in the 2020 election.
An attorney, Alme had been Montana’s U.S. attorney, based in Billings, during the Trump administration.
Alme said that commuting to Helena from Billings each week for the job was “unworkable for the long term.”
He thanked Gianforte for the opportunity to work as budget director, but said he looked forward to “regularly having dinner with my wife and family and sleeping in my own bed again.”