Larry Stein was named staff director of the Senate Budget Committee last week. Stein had been the committee's communications director and before that was an aide to Sen. Jim Sasser (D-Tenn.), the committee chairman.

Stein replaces John Hilley, who will become chief of staff to Senate Majority Leader George J. Mitchell (D-Maine).

Sasser called Stein a "key adviser to me during the budget summit" that led to last fall's federal budget agreement and said he was "involved in the negotiations on a daily basis."

Stein, who has a master's degree from Vanderbilt University in Nashville, was chief of research and speech writing for the Tennessee Valley Authority from 1980 to 1985, when he joined Sasser's staff as press secretary.

He was a senior adviser during Sasser's reelection campaign in 1988 and then joined the Budget Committee as communications director.

The House and Senate Budget committees propose spending and tax ceilings to Congress and monitor spending and tax proposals to ensure that they correspond to congressionally approved budget totals.

Congress and the White House engaged in a protracted battle last summer and fall over how to reduce the federal deficit. They finally agreed on the pact to raise revenue and control spending shortly before the November election.