LANSING, Mich. (WLUC) - Gov. Rick Snyder announced that State Budget Director Al Pscholka is stepping down, effective Feb. 28, 2018. He also announced that John Walsh, currently the Governor’s Director of Strategy, will be Pscholka’s replacement.
Pscholka was appointed Budget Director in January 2017. He will be leaving that post after helping to finalize and release the proposed Fiscal Year 2019 state budget.
“Al has served the state of Michigan with honor and distinction for many years in several roles, not the least of which was helping to improve the state’s financial strength as Budget Director,” Snyder said. “He has been an outstanding addition to our team and we will miss him.”
Pscholka said he is looking forward to pursuing opportunities in Southwest Michigan so he can dedicate more time to his family.
“I would like to thank Governor Snyder and his team for the opportunity to continue to serve. I also want to acknowledge the outstanding public servants in the State Budget Office who work behind the scenes in a professional, efficient manner to protect taxpayer dollars,” Pscholka said. “After seven years, more than 320,000 miles driven, and having worked on eight balanced budgets with surpluses, it’s time for me to return home full-time to spend more time with family and friends.”
John Walsh has served as Gov. Snyder’s Director of Strategy since 2015. He previously served as Speaker Pro Tempore of the Michigan House of Representatives from 2011 to 2014, having been first elected as a state representative from Livonia in 2008.
As Speaker Pro Tem, Walsh led the legislative effort that resulted in the “Grand Bargain” of stakeholders that successfully ended Detroit’s historic bankruptcy. A year later, he led negotiations on behalf of Gov. Snyder to avoid a $3 billion bankruptcy facing Detroit Public Schools, resulting in the restoration of local control, a clean balance sheet, new investment of $150 million from the state, and a platform for academic and financial stability.
“John has done great work on our policy initiatives, from concept to development to execution,” Snyder said. “I am confident that his experience and expertise will help us complete our eighth and final budget as successfully as the past seven.”
“We have a lot of work still to do in 2018, so it’s going to be a busy year,” Walsh said. “I look forward to helping Gov. Snyder and our team complete another fiscally responsible budget that puts people first and delivers on his promises to reinvent Michigan and continue the momentum of our comeback.”
Replacing Walsh as Director of Strategy will be Angela Ayers, who currently is a Deputy Director in the Governor’s Strategic Policy Office as well as Deputy Director of the Office of the Great Lakes. Prior to her current positions, Ayers served as Gov. Snyder’s Special Advisor on the Environment, where she focused on water infrastructure and other critical natural resource issues.
“I look forward to welcoming Angela back to the Executive Office full time,” Snyder said. “Her passion for protecting Michigan’s natural resources will help tremendously as we work to tackle numerous environmental infrastructure issues this year.”
Before joining the Governor’s Office, Ayers worked on regional and local government environmental policy for the Southeast Michigan Council of Governments.
“I’m excited for this new chapter as I help Governor Snyder complete his to-do list for 2018 that includes many important initiatives,” Ayers said. “In particular, the Governor wants to increase the state’s attention and investment on environmental infrastructure issues, which I agree are critically important for every resident of Michigan.”