Lansing Pressure builds for Pure Michigan tourism promotion funding Campaign's budget is about $5.4 million

By Tim Martin

Associated Press

LANSING, Mich. (AP) -- State tourism officials said Tuesday they will cancel the Pure Michigan advertising campaign scheduled to begin airing in January unless they get a funding boost approved by the end of the week.

Lawmakers and Democratic Gov. Jennifer Granholm's administration did not appear close to a deal to fund the program as the Michigan Legislature enters the late, lame-duck stages of its 2009-10 session.

Republican Senate Majority Leader Mike Bishop said money could be taken from the state's 21st Century Jobs Fund to give the popular tourism promotion program a short-term boost. Granholm's administration contends there's no legal authority to use those trust funds for tourism promotion during the current budget year, and no time to get authorization by the end of the week.

Bishop has said he expects to adjourn for the year on Thursday.

Meanwhile, the campaign that advertises Michigan's winter sports, golf courses, lakes and other travel destinations to a national audience was getting ready to pull the plug on winter promotion plans. Pure Michigan's promotion budget for the 2011 budget year is about $5.4 million, down from nearly $30 million just two years ago.

Most lawmakers say they support the Pure Michigan campaign but they haven't agreed on ways to fund it because of the state's ongoing budget problems.

Republican Gov.-elect Rick Snyder, who takes office Jan. 1, urged state leaders to come up with a solution before he takes office.

"It's not a question of who takes credit for it," Snyder said. "I believe it's the right thing to do."

Lawmakers in both the Republican-led Senate and Democratic-run House passed numerous bills Tuesday, including some aimed at improving the economy. A bill passed by the Senate and now headed back to the House for final approval would create a tax incentive aimed at boosting investment in small businesses.

Bills related to insurance coverage for autism treatment, school funding and teacher tenure are among the dozens that could be taken up by lawmakers in the next few days.


Associated Press writer Kathy Barks Hoffman contributed to this report.

Published: Thu, Dec 2, 2010