BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — A bid to make LSU's Shreveport campus a branch campus of Louisiana Tech University has started advancing in the Legislature.

The House Education Committee backed the idea in a 14-4 vote Tuesday. The measure by Jonesboro Rep. Jim Fannin faces a tough road to final passage, however, needing the backing of two-thirds of lawmakers to be enacted.

The merger idea faces opposition from LSU System leaders, but support from the Board of Regents that oversees public higher education across the state.

LSU-Shreveport would become a second campus of Louisiana Tech and part of the University of Louisiana System. The two campuses are 70 miles apart.

Supporters say the consolidation would improve education in northwest Louisiana. Opponents say LSU-Shreveport needs more resources and has been held back by the Regents.