Republicans scored significant electoral gains last November by promising to rein in runaway spending and put state government’s fiscal house in order. Yet in an early spending vote, the Michigan Legislature — now decisively under GOP control — voted overwhelmingly to increase the cost of a government tourism industry subsidy by 65 percent above what had already been allocated for the year. New GOP Gov. Rick Snyder asked for the increased spending, and the bill awaits his signature.
Despite concerns about the basic fairness of the program, the propriety of spending more money on it, and its overall effectiveness, just seven Republicans voted “no."
At issue was House Bill 4160, legislation that increased the current year's cost of the “Pure Michigan” tourism promotion from $15.4 million to $25.4 million. Snyder stated in his first State of the State address that he wanted the higher cost for the program. During the Granholm administration, spending for Pure Michigan and other promotional advertisements had been as high as $33.2 million.