BRADENTON, Fla. - Jefferson County, Ala., commissioners yesterday approved a pared-down contract to hire Washington-based Book Hill Partners LLC to lobby for federal financial aid amid controversy about the expense of such an action.

On a 3-to-2 vote, commissioners approved a $237,500, 90-day contract, with renewal and cancellation options, instead of the previously proposed $950,000, one-year contract.

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