Bohanan didn't go after the funding for Shady Grove, perhaps because he knew the Montgomery County delegation would never stand for it.
Instead, Bohanan's subcommittee slashed the budget of the Hagerstown campus, cutting its funding from $2.1 million to $700,000.
USMH officials said that $700,000 wouldn't cover the maintenance and utilities for the center here.
Donoghue's amendment to the budget will redirect $1 million to the local campus from the University System's main office.
University System Chancellor William "Brit" Kirwan said the shift would "cripple" the system's main office and result in massive layoffs among the system's 100-plus employees in that office.
But to put that in perspective, in January Kirwan issued a statement saying he was grateful for $1.1 billion USM was slated to receive in capital projects and for the more than $1 billion for operating expenses.
If USM has to shift some funds to keep the Hagers-town campus up and running, so be it.
For the long term, we have to wonder why the General Assembly can't come up with something similar to the "maintenance of effort" policy that now applies to the public school system budget.
Briefly, the policy requires that the local funding authority - in our case, the county commissioners - provide the school system with at least as much money as they did last year.
What we are saying is that if USM has established a campus in Hagerstown, there shouldn't be a yearly battle over whether it is funded.
Without such a guarantee, the USMH budget will be subjected to political blackmail on a regular basis. It might go like this: "Do this and we'll OK your funding. Don't do it and we'll shut your doors."
Whatever local elected officials do, the students who attend USMH aren't responsible for their actions. Students are trying to get educated in a way that will improve their earning potential and upgrade the state's work force.
If Washington County members of the General Assembly have done something that offends the leadership, penalize them and not those who are trying to get an education.