CHICAGO — Indiana’s chief budget official is stepping down.
Chris Ruhl, who has served as the head of the Office of Management and Budget for less than two years, will leave the post to become chief financial officer at Ivy Tech Community College, Gov. Mitch Daniels’ office announced Monday.
Adam Horst, currently the state budget director, will replace Ruhl.
Ruhl joined the Daniels’ administration in 2005 as policy director and general counsel at the OMB. He served as director of the State Budget Agency and was tapped as director of the OMB in August 2010.
Before coming to the state government he was a state and local tax law attorney at Baker & Daniels LLP in Indianapolis.
“Chris Ruhl has been as good a friend and effective an advocate as the Indiana taxpayer has ever had,” Daniels said in a statement. “That I was lucky enough to have him as a partner for seven years is something for which I’ll always be grateful.”
Horst became the budget agency director in August 2010, when Ruhl was named OMB director, and had been deputy director since 2007. Ruhl replaced Ryan Kitchell, who left the state to join Clarian Health, now re-named Indiana University Health, as vice president and treasurer.
It was under Ryan’s tenure that the state won its coveted triple-A rating, a status it has managed to maintain through Ruhl’s tenure despite falling revenues and a national recession.
Ryan built Indiana’s rainy-day fund to $1.3 billion, an amount that dwindled as the state sought to offset falling revenue.
But over the last two years Indiana has re-built the fund, and recent revenue projections show the state could end the current fiscal year with a $1.8 billion surplus. That would trigger an automatic refund to taxpayers. Much of the surplus revenue came from cuts.
Daniels also recently announced that the general fund will get a $288 million boost after officials detected a computer programming glitch that failed to transfer a chunk of corporate-income tax revenue to the general fund.
The OMB director oversees six state agencies: the State Budget Agency, the Indiana Department of Revenue, the Department of Local Government Finance, the Indiana Finance Authority, the State Board of Accounts and the Indiana Public Retirement System.
The move becomes effective Jan. 20.