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Pure Michigan campaign heads for a House hearing

The Pure Michigan campaign will run out of money mid-year without an infusion of more funds.

A state House committee will hold its first hearing tomorrow on a plan to tap into a state-operated venture capital fund to keep the Pure Michigan campaign on the air for the rest of 2011.

Earlier efforts to come up with an acceptable fee or tax to pay for the campaign have failed.

Last year, the Michigan legislature raised the Michigan Strategic Fund, which provides venture capital to start-up businesses, to partially finance the tourism campaign.

The measure before a House committee would tap the fund for the entire amount.

The state tourism agency, Travel Michigan, says there is still time to buy ads in Chicago, Indiana, Ohio, and Ontario to catch people making summer vacation plans.

Some fiscal conservatives say the state’s travel industry ought to pick up the entire costs of the campaign.

Rick Pluta is Senior Capitol Correspondent for the Michigan Public Radio Network. He has been covering Michigan’s Capitol, government, and politics since 1987.
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