CARSON CITY — Howard Eugene Barrett, Nevada’s budget director for 21 years until his retirement in 1982, died Thursday at a local hospital. He was 80.
Barrett served as budget chief for former Govs. Grant Sawyer, Paul Laxalt, Mike O’Callaghan and Bob List. List once described him as “a walking encyclopedia of state finances and budget.”
When Barrett started as budget director in 1961, Nevada’s annual general fund budget was less than $30 million. By the time he left state service, it had climbed to $422 million. Now the approved budget is more than $3 billion a year.
Barrett is survived by his wife, Joyce, and three daughters. No memorial service is planned.