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Governor Whitmer’s budget would address climate change, Pure Michigan

blue pure michigan sign in Ironwood, MI
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Funding for the Pure Michigan tourism campaign could be returning. Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s budget proposal, announced Thursday, includes $15 million dollars for the campaign.

The Governor zeroed out the campaigns funding last year as part of her line item vetoes. State tourism officials raised concerns about the cuts but some groups thought the cuts were a good thing.

Michael LaFaive is with the Mackinac Center for Public Policy, which has long disputed that Pure Michigan provides the state a good return on investment.

“My initial response is that this is still bad for Michigan, it’s still a net negative for Michigan, but it is less bad than it could have been,” he said.

The state maintains that the Pure Michigan campaign brings in $9 for every dollar spent.

Whitmer also called for more money for environmental protection measures. She says grants to local governments would help them deal with erosion and rising water levels.

“In Michigan, we are uniquely positioned because we have all of this fresh water, but we also are going to be confronting some unique challenges because of the precipitation, the global warming, and the lack of a real freeze this year,” she said.

Whitmer says that could have a dramatic effect on farms and on municipal sewer systems.

The budget proposal does not have new plans to raise money for infrastructure and road repairs. It’s widely agreed that bond sales will help pay for only the most-urgent problems.

The governor says she’s waiting for Republicans to offer an alternative after rejecting her proposed fuel tax increase.

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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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