Ceballos tapped to head Health Department, Budd to head Homeland Security

By The Cowboy State Daily

A former Cheyenne business executive was named to helm the state’s Health Department on Thursday as Gov. Mark Gordon continues to build his administration.

Mike Ceballos, former president of Qwest Communications in Wyoming, was one of three people whose names were announced to take leadership positions in Gordon’s administration.

Also named to leadership spots during a news conference with Gordon were Cheyenne resident Lynn Budd, who will head the state’s Department of Homeland Security, and former state Sen. Leland Christensen, who will act as Budd’s deputy director.

Ceballos, a Democratic candidate for superintendent of public instruction in 2014, will succeed current Health Department Director Tom Forslund, who is to step down at the end of the legislative session.

On other issues during the news conference, Gordon said he would like to see a better return on the state’s “Rainy Day Fund,” a reserve fund that can be tapped to make up for funding shortfalls.

Gordon said the fund, which contains almost $1.8 billion, is generating 2 percent in interest, while the state’s Permanent Minerals Trust Fund investments yield a return of 4 percent to 5 percent.

He said it might be smart to invest part of the Rainy Day Fund money in such a way as to boost its earnings, perhaps in stocks.

“We are trying to say let’s take little bit of this, if we’re saving it for the future … and get a little bit better return,” he said.

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