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Senate budget consultant Arduin, Laffer to get 35K

Who says the recession isn't hitting lobbyists and government consultants? Former Jeb Bush budget adviser Donna Arduin and her firm, Laffer Associates, has inked its contract for budget services to the Florida Senate -- at $3,000 less per month than she made while working for former House Speaker Marco Rubio.

Not that Laffer is working for pennies. The five-month contract will net the Tallahassee firm $35,000 for sure, and up to an additional $5,000 for "additional services."

The assignment, according to the contract: To provide “analytical review of state government agency operations, including overlapping agency jurisdictions and functions, the financial structure of agencies, sources and uses of agency revenue, and agency expenditure patterns that will aid in economic and budgetary decisions associated with the development of Florida’s budget.”

Translation: Arduin and the Laffer team will look for redundancies -- and maybe help budget staff develop proposals for cutting costs or even jobs. So they might not be agencies' BFFs when this contract is finished June 30...

Arduin, budget advisor under Gov. Jeb Bush, worked for Rubio in 2007 at $10,000 a month to craft his proposed property tax-sales tax swap. She has also worked for California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Here's the contract: Download ArduinLafferContract