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State Commissioner of Higher Education Jim Purcell said the uncertainty complicates making the decisions that go into running a campus, such as hiring staff and negotiating teaching contracts.

The budget proposal “fundamentally changes the manner in which higher education has been historically funded,” he said, referring to the large emphasis on one-time money and the contingencies. …

Kristy Nichols, the governor’s budget aide, said the administration prepared the budget in a way that actually “protects” higher education. “Obviously we are committed to higher ed,” Nichols said. “So committed we made sure to find any money we could.”

Thirty-two members of Congress dispensed more than $2 million in campaign funds to pay relatives’ salaries during the 2012 election cycle, a USA TODAY analysis of the most recent campaign records shows. … In some cases, multiple members of the family joined the payroll. Rep. Rodney Alexander, R-La., for instance, paid his daughter, Lisa Lowe, more than $73,000 between Jan. 1, 2011, and Dec. 31, 2012. Another daughter, Ginger Robinson, also works for the campaign and collected $57,000 in salary during the 2012 election cycle. The campaign also underwrote 17 auto payments, totaling $32,700, Federal Election Commission records show. …

“It’s a modest income for what they do,” [Alexander] said. “What’s funny to me is that it would be OK for me to pay a complete stranger $100,000 to do what they do.”

Even though over the long haul as a result of increased growth they may do better, human psychology makes people prone to fixate on the short run, overestimating those costs and benefits while underestimating those in the long run. This will be the greatest challenge the Jindal Administration faces, the multitude of different rank-orderings of preferences people have in their economic lives, which threatens to stop this kind of [tax] change that requires supermajority support. Some businessman might be perfectly happy that 199 exemptions are going away, but he benefits from one in particular also on the chopping block that he feels he can’t operate without.

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