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House OKs bill linking University of Maryland campuses in Baltimore and College Park

The University of Maryland, College Park and the University of Maryland, Baltimore would be more closely linked under a bill approved Wednesday by the House of Delegates.

The bill falls short of merging the institutions. Rather, the bill would further an existing working relationship between the two campuses in hopes of raising the university's profile, attracting more research grants and turning research into products that can be sold.

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Each campus would keep its own president — a key change from the original bill — and the University System of Maryland headquarters would move from Adelphi, near College Park, to Baltimore.

The bill also would require that funding be increased at other institutions in the university system.

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The House vote was 92-44, with some Republicans questioning if the cost of all of the measures within the bill — at least $30 million — would be worthwhile.

The bill that was approved by the House originated in the Senate and passed that chamber, 33-10. The bill was amended in the House, so the Senate will have to agree to the House changes, or a conference committee will need to work out the differences before it can head to Gov. Larry Hogan's desk.

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