11. Joe Stephenshaw
Joe Stephenshaw is the director of the Department of Finance, the office that writes the governor’s version of the state budget that is presented to the Legislature in January, then revised in May
to account for the latest tax receipts. This is far from an accounting job, however. The Department of Finance holds the purse strings, and balances policy and politics in deciding who gets what. When you’ve got a $303 billion budget, this is a big deal. During the fall, the representatives of agencies head to Stephenshaw’s Finance team and, hoping for the best, present their wish list for the coming year. Stephenshaw is well-prepared for the job: He has been staff director for the Senate Budget and Fiscal Review Committee since 2017, and he’s served in various roles in the Senate and Assembly as adviser and budget consultant to leadership in both houses. Stephenshaw is new to the governor’s office – he officially replaced the departing Keely Bosler only in July – but we broke our own rule and included him here anyway because how can you leave him out?