Rauner's $30,000 A Month Budget Consultant Leaves, But Illinois Still Has No Budget

By Kate Shepherd in News on Aug 28, 2015 8:50PM

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Photo credit: John Gress/Getty Images

The state's $30,000-a-month budget consultant is out and Illinois still has no budget plan. Donna Arduin, lauded as "one of the best state budget architects in the country" by a spokeswoman for Gov. Bruce Rauner, has left Rauner's administration after less than a year, according to the Tribune.

Arduin helped Rauner plan his controversial first budget proposal that relied on $2 billion worth of savings from state worker pension cuts.

Rauner's budget chief Tim Nuding confirmed her departure but says the state will still use her "continued advice."

"She helped engineer the elimination of an inherited $1.5 billion budget deficit without a tax increase and produced an on-time budget proposal for the governor to present barely more than one month after taking office," Nuding said to the Tribune. "She has been an invaluable adviser to me, and I look forward to her continued advice as we work to reach a pro-growth economic and fiscal agreement for the state."

Rauner initially hired Arduin on a $120,000 February-May contract. Her contract was renewed in June for a $15,000-a-month rate and expired on Friday.

Arduin has helped several high-profile Republican governors with their budgets including California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and New York Gov. George Pataki. She also lasted less than a year in Schwarzenegger's office which some speculate she left because of the political environment.