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Former aide to governors forming consulting firm

Donna Arduin, who served as budget director for California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, is forming a national economics consulting firm with two well-known conservative experts in fiscal policy.

Arduin will join Arthur Laffer, known as the father of supply side economics, and Stephen Moore, author and former director of fiscal policy studies for the Cato Institute, in Arduin Laffer & Moore Econometrics.

Arduin will live and work in both Tallahassee and Fort Lauderdale. The group has offices in San Diego and Washington.

"After 13 years working for governors, it was time," Arduin said Wednesday. "I told Gov. Schwarzenegger that my family and friends were in Florida and I didn't want to be away for long."

Bush says he continues to think highly of Arduin. On Wednesday, during a news conference, Bush went out of his way to suggest Arduin had brought California back from the brink.

Before joining Bush's staff in 1989, Arduin worked in the budget offices for governors in Michigan and New York.

The new firm will offer economic advice and research to government agencies, trade associations and private corporations, but she will not be a lobbyist, Arduin said.

Laffer developed the "Laffer curve" showing a relationship between tax rates and tax revenue.

Times staff writer Joni James contributed to this report.