Finance commissioner to depart at end of fiscal year

MONTPELIER — Vermont Department of Finance and Management Commissioner Andrew Pallito is planning to leave his post at the end of the current fiscal year for a position with the Green Mountain Care Board.

Rebecca Kelley, spokeswoman for Republican Gov. Phil Scott, confirmed Monday that Pallito is planning to work for the administration through the end of June before departing.

Department of Finance and Management Commissioner Andrew Pallito (Courtesy photo)

“He is leaving but he is committed to seeing the budget process through. He will continue to work with us on that and will be with us through the end of the fiscal year,” Kelley said. “There should be no change in how we’re moving forward on the budget process.”

Pallito did not return phone and email messages Monday, but Susan Barrett, the board’s executive director, said Pallito has accepted a position to become the director of health system finances for the Green Mountain Care Board, the state’s health care regulatory body.

In that role Pallito will assist the board with its oversight and regulation of hospital budgets and accountable care organizations. Pallito is replacing Mike Davis, who is set to retire with nearly 40 years of experience in the health care field.

“He’s incredibly experienced and trying to find somebody to replace him is impossible, but if anybody could come close it’s Andy,” Barrett said. “We got really lucky.”

Pallito’s experience working on budgets across state government will be “invaluable,” Barrett said. Pallito will begin his work with the board at the end of June, while Davis’ retirement date is still “a moving target,” she said, but also expected in June.

As Scott’s finance commissioner, Pallito has served as the point person for the administration’s work on the 2018 fiscal year budget that lawmakers are now working to finalize. The Senate is expected to debate and vote on its version this week before House and Senate negotiators look to reconcile differences between the two chambers.

Kelley said Pallito will continue his work with lawmakers in the coming weeks and will help the administration begin implementing the state budget that Scott eventually signs in to law. Pallito will also be instrumental in helping the administration choose his successor, she said.

“I think that is something that we’ll be working through and certainly he’s been a great advocate and really important to the budget process. We’re glad to have the time with him to think about who will fill in that position,” Kelley said.

Pallito has worked in state government since 1992 and joined the Department of Corrections in 2001 as its management executive, overseeing the department’s finances, information technology and training. He became the deputy commissioner in 2006 and was tapped as commissioner by former Republican Gov. Jim Douglas at the end of 2008.

Former Democratic Gov. Peter Shumlin retained Pallito as the commissioner of Corrections until 2015, when Pallito was tapped to lead the Department of Finance and Management. Republican Gov. Phil Scott retained Pallito in that role when he succeeded Shumlin earlier this year.

neal.goswami@timesargus.com

Editor’s note: This post was updated at 4:15 p.m. to include additional information.

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