ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) — Maryland lawmakers have decided to move ahead with studying the idea of merging the University of Maryland, College Park and the University of Maryland, Baltimore.

A budget conference committee made the decision Tuesday while wrapping up its budget work.

The panel decided to link $1 million in state funding with the University System of Maryland Board of Regents submitting a study by Dec. 15.

College Park is the state’s flagship institution with 37,000 undergraduate and graduate students. The University of Maryland, Baltimore has more than 6,000 students and is home to seven professional and graduate schools.

On a separate matter, the budget committee also compromised on a cut to the university system’s office by settling on a $4 million reduction, instead of $8 million approved by the House of Delegates.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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