The Idaho Legislature’s longtime budget director, Cathy Holland-Smith, is retiring after nearly 30 years with the state, the last 10 as the director of the Legislature’s nonpartisan Division of Budget and Policy. Her last day is Friday; on Monday, Paul Headlee, who has been a nonpartisan staffer with the Legislature for 15 years, the last three as deputy budget director, will take over as director.
Headlee is well-known to state lawmakers as the legislative budget analyst for the public schools budget; that duty will be taken over by budget analyst Robyn Lockett.
“I know that Paul will be terrific in his new position,” said Legislative Services Director Eric Milstead, in an email informing lawmakers of the move.
Headlee has named budget analyst Keith Bybee as his deputy director, and is in the process of hiring several new budget analysts. He noted that with the retirements of Holland-Smith, longtime analyst Richard Burns last year, and longtime analyst Ray Houston coming up in July, the office is losing a combined 90 years of experience.
“We have some good folks here, we have a good corps of senior staff that are going to help the junior staff as they come on board,” Headlee said. “We have some pretty big tasks ahead. And as long as everybody will bear with us a little while we make all the assignment changes, we’ll be learning from each other.”