Donna Arduin out as Dunleavy's budget director

Donna Arduin in Feb. 2019.
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ANCHORAGE (KTUU) - Donna Arduin, the Dunleavy administration's controversial budget director known for advocating for steep budget cuts in order to balance state budgets, is being shifted to another position.

The move was announced Monday morning on a news teleconference with Dunleavy Chief of Staff Ben Stevens.

Arduin was known as an itinerant budget director who championed massive spending cuts in states such as California and Florida which were experiencing budget deficits.

Arduin is moving from director to a new position as an adviser to the Office of Management and Budget, where she will serve until Oct. 1, at which point she can renew her contract on a temporary basis.

“On Oct. 1, her employment status will move from employee to a contract status if she desires to continue in that role under contract at a reduced compensation rate,” said Stevens.

Laura Cramer, currently the deputy director of OMB, will serve as interim budget director until a replacement is named. Stevens said that the administration has a couple of names in mind to fill the role, but he didn't name who.

Stevens downplayed the importance of the move.

“It’s not unusual to have changes in administration as they transition after the first year so I wouldn’t say this is anything unusual," he said.

He also denied that it had anything to do with the Recall Dunleavy campaign, which submitted strong numbers to the Division of Elections on Sept. 5.

"The governor's vision hasn't changed," said Stevens.

He also applauded Arduin's work with the administration.

"Ms. Arduin has been very instrumental in contributing a lot of tactics and a lot of ways to analyze this budget, and a way for us to look at budget reductions and to find efficiencies within the government. We’re all very appreciative of that effort, and that’s why she’ll continue on if she desires, in an advisory role as we move forward," he said.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.

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