Governor-elect Charlie Baker has named Kristen Lepore as the head of his finance office. Currently, Lepore is the Vice President of Government Affairs at the Associated Industries of Massachusetts.
Previously, Lepore was the Deputy Chief of Staff to Governor Cellucci and the Director of Fiscal Policy in Cellucci’s Executive Office for Administration and Finance. President George W. Bush chose Lepore as New England’s regional rep for the United States Department of Education. In 2012, Lepore joined the Associated Industries of Massachusetts. During her time with A.I.M., Lepore has gone up against changes to the Massachusetts health insurance rating system from the Affordable Care Act.
Baker has his first annual spending bill due in just three months and the budget shortfall from mid-2014 is still not entirely sorted out. It’s possible that one of Lepore’s first duties will be to fix the budget gap that’s been determined at $329 million by Governor Deval Patrick. Patrick took care of part of the gap with reductions in executive spending, but earlier in November, he filed a bill that called for an additional $57 million in cuts.
At this point, it’s unclear if the House and Senate will try to close the gap before the end of 2014 or if they’ll wait for Baker to be sworn in.